When it comes to social networking, some investors seem to think that shopaholics are the next big thing.
Santa Monica, Calif.-based ThisNext, which was founded in mid-2006, has a well-stocked executive squad: CEO Gordon Gould previously founded Blogsmith, which was purchased by AOL, and served as president of the now-defunct Silicon Alley Reporter. Serial entrepreneur and Silicon Alley Reporter founder Jason Calacanis is also on ThisNext's board of directors.
No matter what the model is, social-shopping networks are attracting investors because they may be more profitable than the average social network. The sites typically aren't directly connected to retailers. But in addition to the advertising support that so many Web 2.0 sites rely on, social-shopping sites could generate additional revenue through affiliate programs or partnerships with retailers that sell the products recommended by site users.
The $5 million in ThisNext's second-round funding reportedly comes from Anthem Venture Partners and Clearstone Venture Partners. Its first-round funding in early 2006 brought in $2.5 million, according to Private Equity Hub.