The Series B round for Witherspoon’s Draper James brand was led by San Francisco-based Forerunner Ventures.
If William Shatner and Whoopi Goldberg can lend their names to Internet startups, so can the 360 residents of Halfway, Ore. In fact, the town only needed to lend half its name to get in on the launch of an e-commerce site for selling goods person to person.
In a deal with soon-to-debut Half.com, the eastern Oregon hamlet became the first dot-com city namesake. “It’s a win-win situation,” says Patty Huff, city planner of newly christened Half.com.
By adopting the name for at least a year, the town stands to receive stock in the Web startup and help in selling locally produced goods on the Internet, among other perks. The new site, still in stealth mode, bills itself as “a person-to-person e-commerce site that will make buying and selling goods online a lot easier.”
The city formerly known as Halfway-so named because it’s midway between the equator and the North Pole-currently boasts a gas station and two grocery stores. Huff and other town officials hope the new association will bring increased tourism and more jobs.
But not everyone in Half.com is celebrating. “A min-ority are against it because they don’t want increased tourism here or haven’t quite grasped the concept,” Huff says. “But most people are for it.”