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ThisNext Goes Shopping, Buys Stylehive and Raises $1.2M

Get ready, personalized shopping services are coming to an online site near you.

Earlier today, Santa Monica, Calif.-based ThisNext announced that it has acquired Stylehive, a collaborative beauty and fashion network. The company also launched Curatemedia, a corporate brand that will operate ThisNext and Stylehive.

The acquisition of San Francisco-based Stylehive, which previously had raised about $4.3 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, follows last month’s purchase of StyleFeeder by Time Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Curatemedia CEO Scott Morrow points to StyleFeeder’s acquisition and to Kaboodle, which Hearst Interactive Group bought for about $30 million in 2007, as evidence that personalized shopping and private online sales is getting ready to explode.

Morrow told me last week that the growth and interest in personalized shopping engines is due, in part, to the expansion of social networking sites, such as Facebook, and from a burgeoning amount of sales tied to an array of soft goods and luxury items online.

“We’re buying Stylehive because the time for social online shopping like this has arrived,” Morrow says.

In addition to acquiring Stylehive, the company has raised $1.2 million in Series C funding from Lightspeed, Clearstone Venture Partners and Anthem Venture Partners. Previously, ThisNext raised $9.6 million in two rounds of funding from Clearstone and Anthem. Morrow, who joined the company a year after it was founded in 2007, says the Series C round remains open.

The acquisition price of Stylehive is undisclosed, but Morrow says that the recent funding will go toward growth capital and to “help expand a business that is already working.” Morrow hints that the company is not done expanding, as it searches for more verticals.

“The market opportunity for private online sales is ready and hot, and we expect to aggressively grow our business organically and through additional acquisitions,” he says.