RealTime IT News

EBay Adds Kurant to Its Shopping Cart

EBay will buy certain assets of Kurant, a Web storefront software and service provider, the companies said Friday.

The agreement includes StoreSense, Kurant's flagship product, and any other advanced software relating to online stores that the company was working on. In addition to the software, eBay said it also expects to hire nearly all of Kurant's team. The online marketplace also said it would continue to support Kurant's current customer base.

Financial terms of the all-cash deal were not disclosed. EBay spokesman Hani Durzy told internetnews.com that the paperwork should be finalized by the end of March 2005. Incorporated in 1998, San Francisco-based Kurant is privately held.

EBay first became smitten with Kurant in March 2004 when the two companies announced the ability to integrate eBay functionality into StoreSense. They extended their partnership in December 2004 to accommodate the StoreSense version 5.8 upgrade.

Kurant describes StoreSense as a platform that lets companies add commerce to an existing Web site or create a sophisticated Web Store. Features include inventory management, supplier communication and integration with QuickBooks.

The software is resold to small businesses through more than 150 of Kurant's global resellers of financial service organizations, Web hosting companies and trusted small business partners, such as Homestead, Website Pros, Hostopia, E-Commerce Exchange, SerraHost and Bank of America.

Kurant also has joint sales and marketing agreements with Sun Microsystems through its Cobalt Networks division, Homestead Technologies, Smart Online and Paymentech.

Version 5.8 boasts new e-mail permission marketing service integration, improved eBay functionality, fraud protection and shipping module enhancements.

The Kurant purchase comes on the heels of eBay's controversial announcement to increase user fees for the fourth year in a row.

EBay said it doesn't expect the Kurant asset acquisition to have a major impact on its 2005 net revenue and earnings.

Editor's note: Sean Michael Kerner contributed to this report.