Curbside, the Bay Area-based startup with a mobile app to allow shoppers to pick up items from retailers, announced today (June 25) that it’s secured $25 million in Series B funding.
The funding round was led by Sutter Hill Ventures and joined by previous investors Index Ventures, Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and others. While Curbside currently serves Target and Best Buy, this new funding round will help expand the Curbside service to more markets and retailers.
“The response we’ve seen to Curbside from both shoppers and retailers since our launch last fall has been overwhelming,” said co-founder and CEO Jaron Waldman. “The service is perfect for mobile, on-the-go consumers. We’ve seen rapid growth since launch, with month-over-month sales increasing in excess of 50 percent. And, the service is proving to be extremely sticky with shoppers, over 55 percent of whom have made repeat purchases."
While Curbside started in the San Francisco Bay Area, it has since expanded to New York and New Jersey, and has plans in the next few months to be available at more locations in Southern California.
Curbside aims to improve the retail experience using three key elements: proprietary location technology to provide a handoff of goods in front of the store; a reliable view of what’s in stock at the stores around them; a convenient and free service.
"Curbside represents the future of mobile commerce,” said Jerry Yang, founding partner, AME Cloud Ventures, and co-founder of Yahoo!. “Curbside is primed to fundamentally change the way people shop – by creating a seamless way for consumers to access products from local merchants by successfully developing complex location and inventory technology.”
In October 2014, Curbside kicked off its mobile shopping startup with $9.5 million in seed and Series A funding. Although many retailers are experimenting with same-day delivery, the Curbside executives argue that same-day pickup has a lot of advantages. 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.
Major retailers like Nordstrom — which also offers a buy online, pick up in store option — now allows customers the option for curbside pickup. This option allows customers the ability to simply call or text a participating store when they want to pick up their order. A store associate will be on hand to deliver the package to the customer upon arrival.
While this may be an attempt to help major retailers compete with online giants like Amazon, it’s also an attempt to appeal to consumers in urban settings that customers may avoid driving toward because of lack of parking.
Curbside pickup has become increasingly popular even on the grocery side of retail, as Meijer has also been testing the omnichannel solution.
For Best Buy, curbside pickup has seen significant success as the company said it is processing thousands of orders a week. Meijer Curbside allows shoppers to pick out their items online and then pick up those items at a participating store where that shopper can grab-and-go without stepping out of the car.
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