Curbside, the mobile shopping startup, is using $9.5 million in seed and Series A funding to help shoppers do same-day pickup, which is a hybrid between mobile shopping and in-store. Ideally, it combines the convenience of M-Commerce with the immediacy of in-store, with shoppers driving to their local merchant but never leaving their car. An initial retail partner is Target.
“Curbside was founded by former Apple engineers, both who have backgrounds in location-based technology. Jaron Waldman founded Placebase, which was later sold to Apple. And while in Cupertino, he worked on products like iPhoto, iAd, and Maps. Curbside’s other co-founder, Denis Laprise, also founded a location technology company, called Poly9, which was acquired by Apple, as well,” reported TechCrunch. “The two left Apple last year, and raised $1.5 million in seed funding in September 2013, in a round which included Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Chicago Ventures, TenOneTen, WGI Group, and other angels, including former Yahoo President and current Costco board member Sue Decker and former Visa president and CEO Carl F. Pascarella. The team later raised an $8 million Series A, led by Mike Volpi at Index Ventures, who also joined the board.”
Although many retailers are experimenting with same-day delivery, the Curbside people argue that same-day pickup has a lot of advantages. First, same-day delivery struggles when leaving densely populated. Secondly, the assumption of delivery came from a day when a desktop was the default device. Now that orders can be placed while en route home from work, stopping by the retailer to make a pickup could make much more sense.