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Zaarly gets $14m, HP’s Whitman joins Directorship

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Zaarly, a startup peer-to-peer marketplace that has been called an alternative to eBay, has announced that eBay’s former CEO, Meg Whitman, will join its board of directors.

Meg Whitman, HP CEO and President

According Mashable, The startup’s founder and CEO Bo Fishback, who also announced a $14 million round of funding on Tuesday, says that Whitman, now CEO of HP, has been present since the first meeting with lead investor Kleiner Perkins.

“About 15 minutes into the conversation, she stopped and said, ‘This reminds me so much of eBay,” says Fishback.

Zaarly, launched about 6 month ago is a San Francisco based web and mobile-based service start-up that is changing the way people are buying and selling goods and services. The online service brings communities together by allowing people to buy and sell locally.

“We might be going after big portions of [eBay and Amazon’s] markets on one hand,” Fishback says. “On the other, we’re creating whole new markets.”

Since launching in May 2011, Zaarly has registered 100,000 users. The team has also doubled from about 15 employees to close to 30 — incidentally the same number that were at eBay when Whitman joined in 1998.

Fishback says Whitman will help “as much as she is able to help,” but that in particular he looks forward to her advice about how to make the most of a community and become a better CEO.

With his new chunk of change, Fishback plans to hire his dream team and begin to smartly scale the service. The latter is likely to be a challenging task because different cities use Zaarly differently.

“We’re working on understanding how to make something scalable but hyperlocal at the same time,” says Fishback.

Staff Writer

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