Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Build a company that “crowdsources,” manufactures, and sells those better mousetraps (or, say, superior power strips, like the one pictured), and venture capitalists will come bearing cash. Heck, you might even get a reality show out of it. Social media-meets-product development company Quirky, which brings two new consumer products to market each week (among the latest is a 21st-century take on Starck’s Juicy Salif), has secured $68 million in financing from a group of investors led by Andreessen Horowitz, with significant participation from new investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Scott Weiss of Andreessen Horowitz and Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins will join Quirky’s board of directors. The Series C funding round, its largest to date, brings three-year-old Quirky’s total funding to $97 million.
In announcing the cash infusion, Quirky founder and CEO Ben Kaufman highlighted three changes that are in store for the company. First, the company plans to increase the pace at which it chooses ideas and brings products to market, “We aren’t taking on more for the hell of it, we are taking on more because it will produce better products, and more vibrant communities,” he wrote in a blog post. Also in store (literally) for Quirky: experimenting with its own retail spaces. Finally, the company is looking to invest in U.S. manufacturing. Added Kaufman, “It will take quite some time before we will manufacture a majority of Quirky products here in the U.S., but over time I believe we can and should.”