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Shopping App Keep Has Laid Off Staff, Is Downsizing

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Social shopping app Keep is scaling back. The company confirmed to Racked that it's getting rid of the app's universal cart feature and the staff is downsizing as a result of the decision. "Keep has stopped its experiment of a universal cart and has gone back to affiliate refer to retailers," Scott Kurnit, Keep's CEO, told Racked in an email. "In the process there are some people who are leaving the company." Kurnit declined to disclose the number of layoffs.

Keep's universal shopping cart debuted on the app last year. It promised to streamline user experience by allowing shoppers to browse and buy right in the app, instead of redirecting to the retailer's website to purchase an item discovered in Keep. "At a high level, it worked great, consumers loved it, but it was expensive to operate," Kurnit explains. "We'll be looking at ways to do much or all of the same thing at lower cost."

The app is barely three years old but has had to contend with the constantly crowded space of social shopping technology. A similar shopping app, Spring, was founded a year after Keep and closed on a $25 million Series B round of funding in April. The last time Keep's parent company, Keep Holdings, raised a round of funding was in 2011, according to Crunchbase. Other shopping apps have met with worse fates: Hukkster, a sale monitoring app, shut down last summer and Re/code reported last week on the suffering state of secondhand shopping platforms.

"We generated a wealth of knowledge [from the cart] which will be valuable as we go forward," Kurnit says. "While the cart was great, research continued to show that consumers love Keep first and foremost for an amazing selection of the best of the best from the entire web."