Eight months of close cooperation were enough for online retailing giant eBay to decide to buy Israeli start up The Gifts Project. It is estimated that eBay paid several tens of millions of dollars for the company, which was founded two years ago by Ron and Maya Gura with Matan Bar and Erez Dickman, and which enables the group purchasing of gifts. The purchase price will give the company's initial investors, among them Yossi Vardi and Eyal Gura, a good return on an investment of a few million dollars. Other investors in The Gifts Project are Index Ventures (which is invested in other Israel Internet companies such as Soluto and My Heritage) and Gemini Israel Fund.
Eyal Gura is the brother of The Gifts Project CEO Ron Gura. He can look back on five highly successful months, in which he has made three exits.
In April, Gura sold two Israeli start ups that he founded: PicApp was sold for $10 million to Indian company Ybrant, and PicScout was sold to Getty Images for $20 million.
In January this year, The Gifts Project signed a cooperation agreement with eBay, under which eBay offered group gift buying through the Israeli company's technology.
The eBay Group Gift feature enabled any surfer to type in the name of a friend (or to import it through Facebook Connect) and to choose an event for which the gift is intended. The user then receives a list of possible gifts for purchasing on eBay, based on the friend's areas of interest on Facebook. Users can invite other friends to join in the purchase via Twitter or Facebook.
This is eBay's third acquisition in Israel. In 2005, it bought Shopping.com for $620 million, and in 2008 it bought Fraud Sciences for $169 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 8, 2011
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