This Startup Office Is Cursed

The building at the corner of 23rd and Bryant in San Francisco is proving to be poison for tech companies. Its landlord originally displaced an arts collective to turn the space into startup offices. Bloodhound was was initially lured into the high-rent building, but was bled dry within fifteen months. Soldsie similarly fell for its charms, and now their future looks doomed.

Soldsie is a service for merchants that lets them peddle their products directly on Facebook or Instagram. Users see a product photo they want, write "SOLD" in the comments, and Soldsie processes the transaction. It's a novel idea, and one that has attracted $5.6 million in venture capital money from the likes of 500 Startups and First Round.

But Facebook unveiled their "Buy" button last week, rendering the startup's business mostly obsolete.

Soldsie's CEO Chris Bennett tried to cast the news as a good thing, telling Valleywag "We were not surprised by Facebook's announcement" and insisting "it will be good for the market and everyone in the ecosystem will benefit."

In parallel, we continue to expand our offering to other networks. We already offer Instagram selling. That's been the plan all along. Some obvious candidates down the road include Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat, among others.

Except that Twitter also launched a buy button and Pinterest is moving towards e-commerce. Bennett does have one reason to be optimistic though: Soldsie moved out of the Bryant Street office in June. Maybe they escaped the curse?

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