eBay and small business investment platform CircleUp are joining forces for the auction site’s latest marketplace, the Innovators Collective.
Last week, eBay launched Innovators Collective with a handful of smart home and lifestyle products. The site, reminiscent of Quirky, features products predominately from small companies focused on designing lifestyle products for the next generation. Within the Innovate Collective are products like Sphero, an application-controlled ball, and the Orange Chef prep pad, a smart food scale that helps you determine the health factor of your food choices.
To help eBay beef up its product offering, CircleUp is connecting its retailers and their products to the Innovators Collective.
“CircleUp has introduced us to an exciting crop of companies that we’re piloting on Innovators Collective, and we look forward to bringing more small companies on the site together,” said David Ramadge, eBay’s director of entrepreneurship and venture outreach, in a released statement.
Innovators Collective is an experiment that gives connected home products and other futuristic inventions a chance to shine on a slimmed-down web interface that’s a lot sleeker than eBay’s usual marketplace. The Innovators Collective seems mostly like a marketing ploy, one that hinges on using storytelling to sell products. On each product page, eBay includes product specs as well as a personable description about the company that made the item, and a video.
The partnership with CircleUp may help to grow the project, if its retailers are able to catch consumer attention. If nothing else, though, Innovators Collective gives eBay one more venue for competing with Amazon, which also has a smart home specific site.