In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Wrazz.com, set to debut Aug. 6, mixes social networking with social commerce.
SEATTLE, July 26, 2010 -- Eat. Drink. Play. Relax. This is the simple mantra users will be chanting when they tap into the liberating usefulness and convenience of wrazz (http://wrazz.com).
Pronounced "razz," the website is launching August 6 in Seattle and will provide the perfect mix of social networking and social commerce. wrazz users will be alerted to new daily discounts in neighborhoods they frequent through smart search functionality. These promotions, developed in partnership with 15,000 local businesses at launch time, will be available for up to three days, and will offer too-good-to-pass-up discounts of up to 80 percent. Geo-location lets select friends know where one is sipping a Martini, and an innovative gadget called "Game Plan" coordinates activities in real-time with friends on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wrazz/116371535048649).
wrazz expects 25,000 users to sign up within its first 60 days. Given the clamor for a service like this, the site is poised to expand quickly. Cities planned for the next six months include San Francisco, Portland, Scottsdale, and Salt Lake City.
The idea behind wrazz grew organically from Bret Eickhoff and Ian Porter's social habits. These are the kind of guys a city like Seattle loves: Tech-savvy and plugged-in to a community of people who love hanging out downtown.
Frustrated that no single site delivered efficient local business directories and that most social commerce deals tend to be short-lived (Groupon deals only last a day), they cooked up wrazz to be the tool they wanted to use to enjoy their city.
"We love Seattle and we're always looking for a new place to hang out. Social media and commerce are snowballing, but the few sites that attempt to entice people to visit bars, restaurants and spas are frustratingly inefficient, and difficult to navigate," pines wrazz co-founder Bret Eickhoff.
The traditional way to discover the undiscovered was by word-of-mouth. Currently, social commerce has proven the effectiveness of wildfire marketing. Foursquare.com boasts over 750,000 users; Livingsocial.com claims a user base of 85 million.
wrazz promises to bring together the best of social networking and the effectiveness of tailored discounts in an organic and highly usable way, connecting people with the services they might not otherwise be hip to.
"Have you ever had one of those nights when everything just works? You find a cool little bar, your friends magically appear, the prices are great. We love those nights, and wrazz will foster that kind of interaction," says wrazz co-founder Ian Porter.
With a goal of 25 markets in 18 months, Eickhoff and Porter want people all over the country to make their local downtown an easy place to grab a spontaneous bite and drinks with friends. The principals of wrazz have the financing chops to build an uncompromising service, and an investment offering will be available until sometime in August.
The era of the smartphone has clearly arrived, but the power of these devices to connect people with the things they want has yet to be fully exploited. The playing field is still wide open for the killer app that unites consumers and businesses. Wide open, at least, until wrazz.com launches on August 6, 2010.
wrazz.com connects consumers and their social networks with enticing local deals in the hippest North American markets.
Launched by Bret Eickhoff and Ian Porter to facilitate a night on the town, wrazz.com promises to integrate social commerce with a dynamic user experience.