DoubleClick’s Rosenblatt in group shopping start-up

June 11, 2010

DoubleClick’s former CEO has resurfaced…in the red-hot “group-buying” space.

It’s been just over a year since David Rosenblatt punched his last time card out at Google (which bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in 2008).

GroupCommNow, a sparsely populated site called Group Commerce lists Rosenblatt as the Chairman of the company. Andrew Glenn, another DoubleClick-Google alumni, is listed as the CTO, while Jonty Kelt, an entrepreneur that worked for a company acquired by DoubleClick, is the Group Commerce Chief Executive.

So what is Group Commerce?

Here’s how the web site describes it:

Our white-label technology platform enables large online publishers and affinity marketing groups to energize the buying power of their communities and generate new revenue streams.

The site says it provides “modules” for Web-based group-buying platforms, white label hosting services, vendor offer management and financial clearing, among other things.

It’s no secret that “group-buying” is one of the hottest buzzwords in the world of startups and venture capital right now. Groupon, one of the leading such services, raised a whopping $135 million in funding from Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies in April.

By aggregating a large pool of buyers, group-buying  sites can negotiate discounts on various consumer goods and services, such as discounted Yoga lessons and two-for-one bar and food specials. A handful of smaller players with names like BuyWithMe, SocialBuy and Scoop St are all offering similar services.

The concept of group buying is practically as old as the Web — a slew of similar services popped up during the Web 1.0 bubble in the late ‘90s. But the advent of social networking has made the newest incarnations of such sites catch on.

Rosenblatt and the Group Commerce crew appear to be approaching the market from a more behind-the-scenes angle, providing the technology to enable Web publishers to offer group buying as a feature on their sites. Group Commerce did not immediately respond to an email inquiring about its service.

The New York-based company is hiring at least four staffers, according to the career section of the site, which also notes that the company is backed by “tier-one venture capital.”

Rosenblatt left Google in May 2009, one of a string of executives to leave the search giant at the time, including Suhkinder Singh Cassidy and Tim Armstrong (now the CEO of AOL).

In an internal memo he sent at the time, obtained by VentureBeat, Rosenblatt said he would take some time off during his post-Google summer and then come back refreshed to think about what comes next.

An account in the New York Times at the time said Rosenblatt wanted to eventually run his own company or division.

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