Sign of the Times? Igglo Melts Away

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High profile Finnish search portal Igglo.fi is gone. Kaput.

The company was founded in February 2006 by entrepreneurs Jussi Nurmio and Mikko Ranin and in 2006 Benchmark Capital Europe invested 12.5 million euros in Igglo to help them fund their expansion deep into Europe.

But that investment now looks all for naught, as Igglo declared bankruptcy in February 2008 (see Wikipedia) and just last week, according to Forbes.com, ceased its brokerage operations and sold its web site to Finnish publishing house Sanoma Group.

Igglo was one of the very first online brokers and web sites to incorporate Web 2.0 technologies, winning it many fans at the time, including Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman who, whose company sought to be bring Igglo’s novel auction idea to the US (see Redfin Corporate Blog).

The news that Igglo has exhausted its capital and folded, is not particularly comforting then. And I wonder if it’s just the tip of a cresting wave for many of the venture-funded real estate plays both here and abroad.

That said, it may not be the last time we see Igglo. According to Sanoma’s press release on the acquistion, Nurmio insists “Igglo will focus on its core competence, developing online business and internationalizing the service. This transaction provides Igglo with an excellent platform to take the housing portal concept abroad.”