Wesabe's Merchant Pages

Our portfolio company Wesabe announced two new features this week; server side uploader and merchant pages. The server side uploader is great because it makes pulling your financial information to wesabe a breeze. But the merchant pages get me really excited. If you have a large enough user base, you can learn a lot about merchants from the aggregate purchasing behavior of your users. That’s the whole deal with merchant pages. Here’s a screenshot of a merchant page.


We are very excited about these new developments and my partner Brad, who sits on the Wesabe board, has written a longer post about these new services on the Union Square Ventures blog.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Peter

    Customer feature aside, this is amazing competitive information.For example, can someone out there who’s a Wesabe member and has purchased from Amazon tell me what the average Amazon purchase is? It would be incredibly useful to a business I’m working on.

    1. Marc Hedlund

      Peter: you don’t have to be a member. You can have all the data without even registering.https://www.wesabe.com/merc…We have some more data cleanup issues with Amazon particularly (there are lots of variations of their name, we’re consolidating them), but the data up now is close to our overall average for them. Also, we’re breaking out more tag averages over time — you can see that purchases tagged ‘books’ are a lot lower than the overall average, for instance.Have fun.

  2. zachlandes

    I just wanted to mention that it was just today that I first heard of Wesabe – I was reading a small article on personal finance websites in Young Entrepreneur magazine. It is interesting that mint.com seems to have had quite a bit more press coverage. What does a website like Wesabe do to get the word out?

    1. fredwilson

      They have to build a different and ideally more useful service. Then the word will get out. The audience is all the marketing you need for a great productFred

      1. zachlandes

        I agree with you, Fred. Although the converse is clearly not true – having a large audience doesn’t have a a direct relationship with having a unique/great service. New blog topic? 🙂

    2. Marc Hedlund

      Hi, Zach,Certainly there are other companies out there, but I don’t think we’re lacking for press at all:http://www.wesabe.com/page/…Of course we always want more coverage — can you help with that? I’m always interested to hear what people can suggest in that area.

      1. zachlandes

        Hey Marc, Looks like you’ve managed to garner some great press. I do notice that your list of press does not include magazines like PCWorld, PC Magazine, Maximum PC (I saw Mint in there about a year ago), and the like. What you really need, if you don’t have one, is someone who performs the role of online evangelist. You probably already have someone who essentially does this. If I get more ideas I’ll reply here or make a comprehensive post on my blog.

  3. Matt

    Server-side uploader, huh? So now Wesabe is Yodlee Moneycenter circa 2005 with prettier graphics?Come on, guys.

    1. fredwilson

      MattThe server side uploader was the most requested feature from the past year. this is “listening to customers”If you want to see innovation, check out the merchant pagesfred

    2. Marc Hedlund

      Matt,I agree with Fred’s response. I haven’t seen a site that does what we do, ever. Server-side Uploader has been done before, certainly. But to what end? Yodlee’s customers are banks and businesses, not consumers — they view consumers as a ‘testbed’ for the products they sell to enterprises. We view consumers as our market. I don’t think the two businesses have anything to do with each other, really.

  4. David Corts

    Wow. Sounds like Consumer Reports 2.0. Endless possibilities.

  5. Michael Hoffman

    I understand why an analyst would love to see how much people spend per visit at Target or Wal-Mart, but I have no idea why that information would be useful to me as a consumer user of the service. If it is introducing me to services or retailers I have never been exposed to, I see value in that, but who needs to know that people shop at Target. Or any of the ones listed here. What am I missing?Now, give me some advice on the best cell phone deals, whether to go Comcast or ATT for high-speed internet or what car would have better resale value… which then does sound like Consumer Reports.

    1. Marc Hedlund

      Michael,We do definitely cover the first two examples you request — not which car has a better resale value, at least not yet. If you click through to my blog post on the feature, you’ll see that when I started testing the system, I got a recommendation for a local grocer that is cheaper and much better-liked than the one where I had been shopping. I already knew that place existed, but I didn’t realize how much less expensive it was, and seeing that customers were really satisfied with it helped, too.I had an earlier test case, too, where I saw an independent auto shop with much lower prices — about *half*, on average (~$600 vs. ~$1300) — and much higher ratings (92 vs 17, on a scale of 100), than the dealership where I had been taking my car. This was a while ago, in the first test version of this feature, but I started taking my car to the independent, and I’ve been going there ever since. I think that one tip saves me about $500 a year at least.You’re right that we don’t cover specific products (which Consumer Reports does). We cover merchants, and which ones are going to give you great value for the money you spend there. I think that can be hugely valuable, in the two cases I mention above, and many others.

    2. Marc Hedlund

      Michael, here are some of the example I mention above:https://www.wesabe.com/merchttps://www.wesabe.com/merchttps://www.wesabe.com/merc…Note, again, that all of this data is available for free, and you don’t have to register to get it. The reason to register for tips is that we can do a far better job of offering you tips if we know where you’re spending, and on what categories. (Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to register, too — we believe we’re the best way for you to get the most out of your money, and everything on the site is about that.)

  6. evbart

    Just caught up with these guys at Finovate last week, and I really liked the new feature. I tweeted right before the event, that I had started to use wesabe less and less because I hadn’t seen much innovation lately, but this is definitely a reason to go back! Online personal finance tools are getting to be a dime a dozen, so value like this is going to be key to get away from the pack.