Update 4.5. at 16.20: After publishing the post on TestFreaks we heard that the company might have recently let several people go and currently run on ‘founder team’. We contacted the company to clarify and got the following response from TestFreaks CEO, Kristofer Arwin:

TestFreaks have been growing rapidly during 2008 and have now around 4 million monthly users. In the fall of last year we scaled up the organization to sustain further rapid growth, however the global recession have had an impact on consumers buying less home electronics and other more expensive capital goods. This have also had an impact on our growth that during 2009 have been lower than planned. We are therefore reducing the team to a similar size as we had last fall. However, it is not a “Founder team”, we still have 8 employees in our HQ and global team in total of 35 people.”

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Testfreaks, a Swedish based product reviewing site has slowly been gathering attention. It caught our eye from ArcticIndex. Testfreaks can be summed up to be the aggregator of review sites. It pulls in material from more than 4000 sources from 27 markets and aggregates those into one rank – Freak Score.

Testfreaks has been put together by the founders of Pricerunner.com, Kristofer Arwin, Magnus Wiberg and Martin Alexanderson. The founders have therefore plenty of experience from the online shopping market, which Testfreaks is in also. Their business model is to get small commissions from sales done through their links. This sort of model understandably needs traffic. Last October they had about 2 million visits a month, and according to Anton they currently roll around 4M visits a month. Testfreaks has also received a $3 million investment from Northzone last year, according to VentureBeat.

There is plenty of competition in the social shopping market at the moment. In TestFreak’s case however, they mainly work with many of the other shopping sites to bring value for everyone. According to Anton Kuhta, who we had a little chat about the TestFreak site, they usually partner with at least one shopping site on each market to give their users the best possible price. They also work with other review sites – this is because TestFreaks brings in a lot of traffic to these sites so many want to work with them.

Perhaps companies that fall close by with TestFreaks at least from Finland are RunToShop and Fruugo. Both are some sort of aggregators and have similar kind of business models. It will be interesting to see how these companies will perform in the long run as social shopping is still an area that has yet proven itself. There’s definitely a need for more collaboration among these companies world wide – there are untapped benefits for sure.

How do you see this part of the social shopping market? Do you use sites such as TestFreaks when making purchase decisions?