The Demo Pit at the annual TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco is filled with eager startups gunning for their shot at stardom. Most of the companies are forgettable, but every so often one catches our attention. Muutu, a company based in Vancouver, is one such startup.
Muutu is, according to representatives in the Demo Pit, kind of like eBay for classified ads. The site aggregates ads from Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, and various other online classifieds into a streamlined interface that allows users to save favorites, share good finds with friends, and rate ads by quality. Eventually, Muutu will add in its own payment system and give users the chance to become verified. In other words, Muutu has many of the basic features that Craigslist should have, but doesn’t.
Muutu is still in its infancy–it just launched this morning–but if it takes off, the site has the potential to become a Craigslist competitor. Other sites have tried to overtake Craigslist’s supremacy before (ever head of OLX?), but Muutu could have the right mix of usability and simplicity to make a dent in Craig Newmark’s kingdom. That is, if it gets funding and attracts enough public interest–two big “ifs” that have destroyed many a startup’s dream before. But judging by Wired‘s recent cover story on Craigslist’s myriad problems, the time is ripe for a competitor to come in and save the day.