Are toolbars really worth $ 8mil?
Benchmark Capital apparently thinks so. Earlier today the firm invested $8 million in a start-up called Conduit, whose business is to create toolbars for web businesses that hope to "spread the word," as it were. (Full press release here.)
As a user of toolbars -- I have toolbars for Facebook and LinkedIn embedded into Firefox on my Mac -- I tend to agree with Benchmarkl that there's value to be had. But $8 million? On the one hand, sure, toolbars are incredibly useful and keep brands top of mind. Disney has a toolbar for ESPN. I get to Google and Amazon via the search toolbar embedded with Firefox.I suspect we Fools would find it useful to have a toolbar with a built-in RSS feed available to those who want up-to-the-minute stock market analysis.
On the other hand, toolbars take up space. Most users are likely to tolerate no more than one, and perhaps two. Is there really enough business to be had here? I suppose that'll depend on what we call a browser in a few years.
FWIW and Foolish best,