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Social shopping site StyleFeeder nets $2 million in funding

Even though the social shopping niche has shown no clear winners, this Cambridge, Mass.-based start-up has nevertheless pulled in several million in Series A dough.

StyleFeeder, a social shopping site that aims to do for the retail sector what StumbleUpon did for browsing or did for music, has announced that it's pulled in $2 million in Series A venture funding from Highland Capital Partners and Schooner Capital.

The start-up, based in Cambridge, Mass., plans to use the $2 million to hire more employees.

StyleFeeder, which has operated until this point on seed funding, operates a "recommendation engine" for fashionistas based on which products users rate and then purchase through affiliates. Much like other recommendation sites, StyleFeeder then suggests related products and can connect users with similar taste.

The company additionally operates a Facebook application that has been installed by 500,000 users (overall, not active users). That pales in comparison with the 2.5 million who log into Slide's FunWall daily, but it's just slightly under the approximately 570,000 who play that horrifically controversial Facebook game, Scrabulous, each day. Basically, the application reaches a fairly decent number of eyes.

The social shopping niche is crowded with start-ups like ThisNext and StyleHive, as well as M&A buys like ShopStyle (purchased by Sugar Inc.) and Kaboodle (snapped up by Hearst Corp. last year). There has, at least until this point, been no clear front-runner in the space.