StartupCrunch.org appears to be another site that attempts to capitalize on TechCrunch’s popularity (no link love from me, rel=nofollow). They will promote any startups that pays €100 (100 Euros) and sends in a video pitch.
The “secret sauce” is CrunchRank, but before you think it’s TechCrunch-meets-Digg, let’s look at how this “rank” is calculated: it is assigned by the reviewer, whose identity, just like anyone behind the site is unknown.
Why would anyone want to advertise on an anonymous site is beyond my comprehension – but hey, if they get 10
victims customers, they are already in the money.
Business model aside, and whether Mike Arrington has any legal protection for the use of “Crunch” on websites, the name itself is a clear rip-off. Obviously, this site is in to make some quick money by implying association with TechCrunch. I also seriously doubt the sponsors are real (
I’m trying to verify this See Update below)- just look at the pixelated badges, they clearly were lifted from elsewhere. My guess: this is just another attempt to legitimize the site.
The launch strategy so far appears to have two legs: a dozen or so blog posts, most (all?) of which are sponsored through pay-per-post, and – here comes the smart part – someone commenting on recent TechCrunch posts under the name StartupCrunch, of course with a link back to the site.
I expect this site to be fairly short-lived… which reminds me: perhaps it’s time to check on Arringtonsucks.com, an attack-site launched late January. Well-well: last post dated February 15th – that’s a lifespan of … 3 weeks, if my math is correct.
Update (3/14): I’ve contacted two “sponsors”, Zoho and Vecosys. Both confirmed that they had nothing to do with StartupCrunch, infact haven’t heard of this site at all. They both contacted StartupCrunch, which apparently complied with their demand to take off the fake sponsorship badges. I don’t see the point in checking out all other “sponsors” – have seen enough already.