Retail

Curbside Gets Acquired By Rakuten

M&A

Providing Curbside with resources to grow its platform globally, Rakuten has acquired the mobile ordering technology company. The deal’s terms were not made public, retail news source Chain Store Age reported.

“Curbside is changing the way traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants are interacting with their customers,” Rakuten USA President Yaz Iida said in an announcement. “Welcoming Curbside to the Rakuten family is all about the consumer, and we are excited to be able to empower consumers with even more ways to enjoy shopping.”

With the deal, Curbside will run independently as a company owned by Rakuten. But, with the acquisition, Curbside will be able to have its partners utilize Rakuten’s ecosystem, which encompasses more than 1 billion customers and merchants. Established in 2013, Curbside’s technology uses predictive arrival to help with order fulfillment.

“Joining forces with Rakuten allows us to accelerate our platform and greatly expand our support for both merchants and shoppers,” Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Curbside, said in the announcement.

The news comes less than a year after Curbside announced news of its partnership with Yelp, a move which could help convert sales at a faster rate. As of last August, Curbside users could have searched for businesses on Yelp, made an online order through mobile order-ahead and picked it up at the curb without leaving their cars.

While CVS rolled out its CVS Express through Curbside’s service in 2016, many other retailers have joined up with the same-day shopping company, including quick-service restaurant (QSR) Pizza Hut and retailer Sephora. Through Curbside’s integrated inventory feed, there may never be a reason again to step foot outside a car to pick something up from a store or restaurant.

In the months following the announcement, Curbside planned to add several additional QSRs, like Pizza Hut, to up its food service and mobile order-ahead game. This news follows Yelp’s announcement this August to sell its food delivery service Eat24 to Grubhub for a cool $287.5 million.

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