EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2000 - March 18, 2009     0 of 5

Founder of BuySAFE Steve Woda Steps Down

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Steve Woda announced on his blog today that he has left BuySAFE to pursue other start-up and entrepreneurial interests. "After almost nine years of building buySAFE, I am leaving the company in very capable hands, with fresh funding, and the brightest future that the company has ever had. It has been a deeply satisfying experience to create something valuable, and I want to sincerely thank our customers, our partners, my colleagues and the many investors who made buySAFE possible."

Woda had fallen victim to ecommerce fraud in 2000 when he purchased a PDA on eBay that never arrived. Recognizing a need for a better trust and safety model for online shoppers, Steve founded BuySAFE and developed and refined the business plan and product prototypes while earning his MBA at the Wharton School, where the venture became a finalist in the School's business plan competition.

BuySAFE's President Jeff Grass also announced Woda's departure on the BuySAFE blog. He said Steve Woda has joined BuySAFE's Board of Advisors, "so that the company can continue to benefit from his guidance and deep insights into eCommerce and Internet trust and safety."

As Grass explained, BuySAFE's service benefits both consumers, who rely on third-party validation to know whom to trust, and merchants, who experience increased sales and profits when they increase buyer confidence. The company has bonded over 19 million online transactions, protected millions of online shoppers, and created tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue for thousands of ecommerce merchants.

Initially the service was exclusively an eBay bonding service, but the company expanded to offer services to merchants on their own sites and offered integration through shopping-cart services and third-party developers.

Woda signed off his departure-announcement on his blog with a teaser: "As far as the next chapter in my entrepreneurial story, I am not ready to share the details quite yet, but please stay tuned. I will share my adventures with you here on my blog."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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