Grayboxx Sells Assets, Shuts Down

I had heard this but didn’t want to report it until something was public. Andrew Shotland has now made the news public that Grayboxx is shutting down and has sold itself to Bay Advisor.

Grayboxx developed a unique method of determining “implicit” local recommendations and promoted that it would solve the problem of not enough reviews in enough categories in enough places. Its founders thought that the site’s content and breadth would naturally generate WOM and usage. But it didn’t have the runway (read: funding) to develop consumer trust, traffic and brand strength to generate revenue.

It’s also a cautionary tale about placing too much confidence in technology and about not having enough lead time to build awareness and usage.

Add Grayboxx to this list of those whose boards sold them or that were shut down because of a failure to get traction:

  • InsiderPages
  • JudysBook
  • Edgeio
  • Zync (acquired by uLocate before launch)
  • Backfence
  • Zipingo (shut down by Intuit)

Others?

___

Here’s the release I just received:

BayAdvisor Acquires grayboxx Intellectual Property

Santa Clara, CA — April 9, 2007 — Grayboxx Inc., an online local
search firm, today announced that BayAdvisor has acquired its
intellectual property for an undisclosed sum.  The technology transfer
includes grayboxx’s patent rights to its unique PreferenceScoring™
technology, which algorithmically ranks local businesses in terms of
popularity.

“I think BayAdvisor may do some interesting things with the
PreferenceScoring technology and perhaps extend it to new fields,”
said Bob Chandra, founder of grayboxx.  “There is still vast potential
within local search but also in related vertical search fields.”

About grayboxx
Grayboxx is a local online search Web site that provides the most
meaningful and extensive recommendations on local businesses and
professional services in thousands of categories for cities throughout
the United States. For more information, visit
http://www.grayboxx.com.

____

Update: To correct myself, Grayboxx isn’t “shutting down” and will continue to operate under the new ownership. However the investor and entrepreneurs who started it have left the building . . .

8 Responses to “Grayboxx Sells Assets, Shuts Down”

  1. Local SEO Guide Says:

    Greg,

    Actually Grayboxx is not shutting down. They are selling the IP to Bay Advisor which I think will keep Grayboxx going while they develop a new way to exploit the technology.

    A

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