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Facebook acqui-hires Carsabi, more for the sabi than the car

Car-buying service Carsabi has been acquired by Facebook, sort of. Just not for the car part.

Founders Dwight Crow and Christopher Berner were acqui-hired by Facebook today. Terms were not disclosed, but what is clear is that Facebook is not getting into the business of helping you buy and sell cars. At least, not anymore than it already has via the Facebook Marketplace app, powered by Oodle.

The founders announced their new jobs on the Carsabi blog:

We created Carsabi back in Oct 2011 with the goal of easing the process of purchasing a used car and providing a service that aims to index every automotive vehicle and connect more users to their car of choice each day.

But now it’s time for us to take a different turn. We want to take this impact to the next level – and help Facebook users connect and share. Because Facebook is not acquiring Carsabi.com, we’re looking for someone to buy the Carsabi service, so the two of us can focus on our new jobs. We can’t thank all of you that have used Carsabi enough – developing Carsabi has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and we hope we helped you think differently about how to find the perfect used car!

We want to give special thanks to our partners, customers, and investors for helping us fulfill our dream.

Christopher & Dwight

A Y Combinator grad with attitude, Carsabi launched at Demo Day in March of this year. The goal was to index every vehicle for sale and connect the right user to the right car. That goal became a tougher job when, in its crusade to shut down competition, Craigslist blocked Carsabi from indexing its car listings.

That may also be the reason Carsabi’s traffic has halved recently:

Above: Carsabi traffic

Image Credit: Compete.com

Crow and Berner are now looking for a buyer for the Carsabi service, since Facebook will not be taking that over, but it’s unclear who will want a scraping service that is blocked from one of the key scraping sources … and, as a Y Combinator company doesn’t have a ton of investment.

It won’t help that the site currently looks a little abandoned:

Above: Carsabi, October 1 at 2:30 PST

Image Credit: Carsabi

Perhaps Craigslist itself could use a new interface to potentially lucrative car sales.

photo credit: Vu Bui via photopin cc


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