April 20, 2006, 12:00 AM

GSI Commerce takes a stake in content provider WebCollage

GSI Commerce has made an equity investment in WebCollage, provider of web content integration services for manufacturers. GSI Commerce and WebCollage also entered into an alliance to provide content syndication to the e-commerce partners of GSI Commerce.

GSI Commerce Inc. has made an equity investment in WebCollage Inc., a privately held, New York-based provider of web content integration services for manufacturers. The investment was part of a new round of financing for WebCollage. GSI Commerce was joined by existing WebCollage investors Cedar Fund and Sierra Ventures. GSI Commerce and WebCollage also entered into an alliance to provide content syndication to the e-commerce partners of GSI Commerce.

“We see the role of content syndication expanding and becoming more important as consumers increasingly are relying on the web as their prime source of product information,” said Michael G. Rubin, chairman and CEO of GSI Commerce. “Our investment and new alliance with WebCollage demonstrates our continuing commitment to strategically invest, enhance and grow the features, functions and services that we offer as part of our overall e-commerce solution.”

GSI Commerce is a provider of outsourced e-commerce services to retailers and manufacturers who want to sell on the web.

WebCollage compiles, reformats, integrates, customizes and updates content for each online channel partner. The system is ASP-based and works by capturing a manufacturer’s product marketing materials and syndicating the content to online channel partners.

When an online consumer clicks and requests more information about a product, WebCollage serves that information to the consumer on a separate web page that carries the retailer’s branding, but also includes pertinent product information as well as the product’s branding.

GSI reports that four retailer customers went live or started implementing WebCollage’s product in April. Ace Hardware, for example, implemented syndicated content for KitchenAid blenders on its web site.

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