eBay buys into meetup

Networking is the new networking...

eBay, with five other investors, has bought a ten per cent stake in networking company Meetup.com.

Meetup groups share an interest or hobby and meet regularly - they could be pregnant mums or French-speaking bikers. Categories range from adult entertainment to paganism and chihuahuas.

eBay is investing along with Allen and Co, Omidyar Network, Esther Dyson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Senator Bill Bradley. The value was not released but is estimated at less than $10m, according to Business Week, who broke the story.

The online auctioneer will use meetup to help build communities and link more local sellers. Meetup will use some of the funding to improve local marketing.

Old school women's networking site iVillage was also sold last week, to NBC for $600m.

The company claims some 4,500 different interests. It claims 1.8m members in the US, 69,000 in the UK and 46,000 in India. It also has members in Australia, Brazil, France, Italy and Singapore. Visit the site here.

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