About a month ago, it became clear that Delver is in a cash deadlock. Now the company has announced its acquistion by… Sears Holdings. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed, but chances are that this is not a ‘happy exit’ for Delver’s investors, mainly Carmel Ventures who invested $4 million in Delver. The company struggled to raise 6 million NIS in recent months.
The American appliances distributor will keep Delver’s employees in Israel as an R&D center to further develop Delver’s social search as well as new online products. Moreover, Delver’s CEO Liad Agmon will relocate to the US to become a VP at Sears Holdings, according to Globes.
As background, Delver is a search engine that displays results prioritized based upon the searcher’s social network and community. It works by indexing users’ social connections (the social graph) and their online contributions, and ranking search results by the relation between the searcher and target documents. Such results may include blogs, photos, videos, web pages, articles, reviews and more.
This acquistion is line with the recent restructuring of Sears Holdings, which includes an intent to increase the company’s online presence. From the Sears Holdings’ Investor Relations page:
At the beginning of 2008, we announced the reorganization of the company into five different types of business units: Operating, Support, Brands, Online, and Real Estate….
We made meaningful strides this year towards our goal of offering customers a broader and deeper selection of products and convenience through multiple channels. Online we have expanded our assortment and are now offering new categories to customers including books, music, and entertainment. Our web-to-store and store-to-web initiatives are designed to integrate and leverage our platform of stores and online sites to offer customers multiple ways to fulfill their shopping needs. We aspire to provide our customers with a platform for whatever they want, wherever and whenever they want it. Our online investment drove growth in calendar year 2008 significantly above the online industry growth rate. In further recognition of the progress we have made, e-tailing group, Inc. recently named Sears the top website in their “e-commerce gauge” survey with a total score of 88.25 out of 100, up 21% from last year.
Better have an unusual exit than no exit at all. Congrats to Liad and the team.