Cameron and Tyler, also referred to as “the Winklevii” in 2010’s “The Social Network,” co-founded HarvardConnection while students at the university. (They sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, stating he stole their idea.) But, after recently investing in a fashion e-commerce startup called Hukkster, the twins are hoping that their latest business venture will go much smoother.
Hukkster, whichwas founded by former J. Crew buyers Katie Finnegan and Erica Bell as a shopper-driven deal service, allows users to install a bookmarklet similar to that of Pinterest, in their web browser, that online shoppers then use to flag or “hukk” items they want to buy from stores including Nordstrom, J.Crew, Shopbop, Zappos, GAP, Bloomingdales and Anthropologie. The site will then send a notification when the item price changes and when it goes on sale.
Tyler named Hukkster as part of new wave of non-social Web sites—a trend that defies one he helped usher in nearly a decade ago. “Every other deal site out there, you sign up and they push things to you, and one out of every hundred you act on,” he told WWD. “Hukkster really empowers the shopper to pull exactly what they want.”
Cameron elaborated during a Huffington Post live chat, saying, “Online deals are being pushed to people today in a very untargeted method. Anybody who’s shopped online has probably had their inbox cluttered with a lot of these emails. What Hukkster is basically doing is empowering the retailer to pull those deals, and it just made perfect sense to us.” In that way, the site is different from Gilt or Groupon in that it only sends alerts about products a user has expressed interest in. Hukkster, which has over 10,000 users so far, makes a profit by collecting a small fee for each sale it drives to retailers.
It also differentiates itself from sites like Shop it To Me through its integrated approach. “Hukkster not only notifies users when their Hukks (products) go on sale, we also incorporate coupon codes and site-wide promotions like friends and family discounts,” Bell told Racked in an email. “No one else in the marketplace is providing real-time access to this product specific information.”