Berlin-based comparison platform Versus IO has closed a $2.8 million Series A funding round led by Earlybird Venture Capital and joined by angel investors Dave McClure, Lars Dittrich and Dario Suter.
Versus IO, which launched in July 2011, aims to become the number one online platform to compare pretty much anything. Right now, it mostly works with gadgets – smartphones, tablets, projectors, televisions – with cities thrown in as a bit of a crowd pleaser. It’s built up some impressive figures: 25 million comparisons are now available in 18 languages, attracting 2.9 million visits in the last 30 days from 2.1 million unique visitors.
That’s not much of an increase since we last covered Versus IO, in December last year when it raised $100,000 from Dave McClure’s 500 Startups (other existing investors include HTGF and JMES Investments). At that point the company expected to close the month with 2.5 million visits from about two million unique visitors. But as company’s CEO and founder Ramin Far points out, it’s not an entirely fair comparison as December is always the strongest month for eCommerce-related websites. He also says more people are returning to the site than they did previously.
Versus IO’s appeal centres on its eye-catching “this versus that” design and simple natural language results. As McClure put it in a press statement today: “VERSUS IO’s ability to take a sophisticated algorithm and make it so incredibly simple to use is one of the main reasons it caught me eye.”
Competitors and peers include FindTheBest, a US-based website founded in 2009 that recently raised an $11m Series B round. Both companies aim to provide a wide range of comparison verticals; one key point of difference (for now at least) is that FindTheBest offers some ability to tailor results to personal preference.
Future plans for Versus IO include a mobile web app due in Q2, which Far describes as similar in design terms to the new mobile web apps from Airbnb and LinkedIn. “The web is still our number one focus since this is where most of our traffic comes, through search engines,” he adds. “In Q4 we’ll introduce the first native apps with some extra features.”
This is the latest in a series of recent investments by Earlybird, which raised a new $100m fund in April 2012. Other deals so far this year include online auction site Auctionata (Berlin), fashion marketplace Videdressing (Paris) and €10m for football fans’ platform THE Football App (Berlin).
smartphone: flickr user philcampbell
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