Rackspace Startup Program Spotlight On Peddl: Making Buying & Selling Easy

Peddl is the easiest way to buy and sell things with the people around you.

I wonder if Peddl could help the Rackspace Startup Program find a used tour bus for our summer 2012 startupalooza road trip? Just trying to think out of the box and explore all of our options.

Now back to the important facts of this story. Peddl is building a marketplace supported by proximal transactions, intelligent post matching and friendly user experience with specific focus toward privacy and trust. It’s a simple breath of fresh air in the tired room of online marketplaces.

The idea behind Peddl came about during the summer of 2011 at the MIT Media Lab, where co-founding graduate students Dávid Lakatos, a nano-physicist; Tony DeVincenzi, the creative director; and Matthew Blackshaw, an engineer and interaction designer decided it was time to give the old guard of online marketplaces a run for their money. From day one they set out to prove that buying and selling goods and services doesn’t have to be weighed down by poor design and a frightening user experience, which is something that Peddl is seriously passionate about.

“We think of Peddl as more than just a fresh coat of paint applied to existing marketplaces,” explains Matthew Blackshaw. “Underlying Peddl we’ve come up with a fundamentally different marketplace model which aims to strike a very real balance between supply and demand. This is rooted in the two expressions that users can make to Peddl: I Want and I Have. Once you’ve made a post, Peddl will instantly notify you when a match pops up in your neighborhood taking into account temporal, geographic and social proximity.”

How is Peddl different from Craigslist or eBay or Zaarly or TaskRabbit? All of these services are very one sided. Craigslist and eBay are all about posting things you want to sell, while Zaarly and TaskRabbit are about posting things you want to buy. Peddl isn’t a buyer or seller powered marketplace, it’s both. This isn’t a new idea, as Peddl is modeled after the stock exchange, a very effective bid-ask marketplace where supply and demand are given equal presence and weight. What does this balance mean for Peddl users? They get what they’re after faster because of the easy experience for users.

Blackshaw goes on to say, “We feel that existing marketplaces have not made the shift to mobile any meaningful way and as such the space is ripe for disruption. We don’t just want to replace existing marketplaces, but enable entirely new classes of transactions – spot markets for game tickets that pop up around stadiums or allowing the florist down the street to sell his roses that will wilt in the next day for a serious discount. We believe these sorts of transactions that depend on close geography and quick turnaround – things not facilitated by existing marketplaces.”

“We’ve built a solid foundation on which we already see people making transactions, but we still have work to do making it simpler and smarter. We’re working on making the posting process even simpler and giving Peddl increased intelligence around the types of objects that are posted. This intelligence will enable a new approach to categorizing posts – we’re not sharing details just yet, but expect some news in the near future,” concludes Blackshaw.

Graduate students from the MIT Media Lab conducting forward looking human-computer interaction experiments that were designed to sway thought of engineers and designers building next-generation interfaces. That’s how Peddl was conceived. University programs, accelerators and incubators all provide great participants for the Rackspace Startup Program. If you are involved in the startup movement, the Space Cowboys would like to hear from you. Drop us a note and let us know what ideas you are building in the Cloud.

John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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