SwapTree.com Raises Series C

Swaptree.com, a Boston-based operator of a trading platform for books, CDs, DVDs and video games, has raised $3.35 million in Series C funding led by Safeguard Scientifics.

Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) led a $3.35 million Series C financing round for Swaptree.com, an internet-based service that leverages a proprietary trading technology to enable users to swap books, CDs, DVDs and video games for free. Based in Boston, MA, Swaptree.com will use the proceeds of the financing round for continued technological and operational development, marketing support and senior management recruitment.

“Swaptree has built a defensible technology platform that enables multi-way trading, and is well positioned to tap into the millions of users who purchase items such as books, CDs, DVDs and video games online,” said Peter J. Boni, President and CEO of Safeguard. “Our partnership with Swaptree aligns with Safeguard’s core competency of financing on-demand, Internet-based businesses. Our technology group will be an invaluable resource for Swaptree as it develops its swapping community, and introduces new services that make it easier for consumers to trade and interact on the Internet.”

With over 100,000 trades completed since its public launch in July 2007, the Swaptree.com website allows consumers to obtain items in a way that is cost-effective, friendly to the environment, and rooted in the basic notion of sharing. Unlike auction sites, classified ad services, or other e-commerce sites which sell used items, Swaptree.com is completely free, and doesn’t involve buying or selling. After signing up for the service, consumers simply add items they would like to trade to their “have list”, and put items they would like to receive on their “want list.” Swaptree’s trading engine then instantly shows the user all the items they can receive in return for the items they are trading. The only expense members incur is the cost of shipping, for which labels can be purchased and printed directly from the Swaptree website.

“Swapping is the next logical step in Internet commerce,” says Erik B. Rasmussen, Vice President and Managing Director in the Technology Group at Safeguard Scientifics. “First there was e-commerce, then online auctions, and then online classifieds for buying and selling used items. Now we’re seeing demand for trading online, driven in no small part by an economy where consumers are spending less, searching for great deals, and wanting to be more environmentally friendly. Swapping is the perfect solution. We are excited by Swaptree’s significant traction with users and the media, and believe that the company is well positioned to exploit this growing trend and to become the dominant player in this space.”

Swaptree trades are cost-effective because they save consumers from having to purchase new books, movies, music and games at escalating prices. In addition, Swaptree helps its users to be more environmentally conscious because they reduce landfill growth from consumers throwing away unwanted goods. By the end of the year, Swaptree will have a million items listed for trade, making it easy for users to use the website to discover new authors, musicians, films, and games for free. The Swaptree website has many of the features users have come to expect from other community sites, including discussion forums; the ability to create smaller trading groups around certain interests or types of items; and tools for integrating Swaptree with other e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com and social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.

“Our decision to partner with Safeguard Scientifics was based on their proven track record in growing successful technology companies,” says Greg Boesel, President and co-founder of Swaptree. “In this financing round, we were looking for a partner with extensive experience in the online space to help us develop our application platform and support our business strategy. Safeguard provides us with all of the tools – including strategic guidance, operational support and management resources – that will enable us to meet our goals and create value for our members.”

About Safeguard Scientifics

Founded in 1953 and based in Wayne, PA, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE) provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative technology and life sciences companies. Safeguard targets technology companies in Software as a Service (SaaS) / Internet-based Businesses, Technology-Enabled Services and Vertical Software Solutions, and life sciences companies in Molecular and Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Specialty Pharmaceuticals with capital requirements between $5 million and $50 million. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and early-stage financings. www.safeguard.com

About Swaptree.com

Swaptree.com is a new and innovative way for people to easily trade books, CDs, DVDs and video games for free with other users. With Swaptree, users can choose from thousands of books, CDs, DVDs and video games that they can receive in trade for items which they no longer want. The transaction itself is free. The user only pays for the postage necessary to send their item. Swaptree was founded in 2004 by Greg Boesel and Mark Hexamer and is based in Boston, MA. www.swaptree.com