Bean Me Up! Twee Techies Perk Up For High-End, Hand-Delivered Coffee

Noah, David and Adam Belanich host a coffee tasting at the New York-based technology and design company Barrel. (Photo:

It was a chilly February morning when a young man with shaggy blonde hair sauntered into BuzzFeed’s new Flatiron office, quaint brown bags with small colored labels tucked under his arm. The zombiefied techies, engrossed in determining “The 25 Faces Fans Make Right Before Being Hit With a Foul Ball” initially took little notice of the visitor, but soon the whispers began. “Wasn’t that boy here last month?” “Is that…the coffee guy?!” Whispers gave way to a standing ovation as the surprised coffee delivery boy, otherwise known as Noah Belanich from Joyride Coffee, slowly made his way to the break room, Stumptown blends in hand.

Joyride first rolled down New York’s streets in 2010, the brainchild of brothers Adam and David Belanich and their friend Lev Brie. Since its founding, Joyride has started delivering Stumptown, Blue Bottle and Dallis Brothers blends to more than 70 caffeine-starved offices around the city, around 70 percent of which are in the tech or computer industries. These caffeine-crazed techies, who include the employees at Twitter, Tumblr and Gilt, will pay anywhere from $12.75 to over $25 a pound (with no delivery fee for orders over $50) for Joyride’s services. “The tech industry really loves coffee,” as Adam put it. “They get in a little bit later than other businesses, but you get emails from them at like two in the morning.” Between the bizarre hours and mid-afternoon meetings, the industry has become “fundamentally linked to coffee,” he said. Read More

Daily Daze

Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson On Hiring His First CMO, Scaling Up, and ‘Gossipy Tech Blogs’

Mr. Patterson via @jetsetdrew

Today, Jetsetter, the luxury vacation deals site (think flash sales on villas in St. Vincent or a pied-à-terre in Paris) announced the appointment of its first-ever chief marketing officer, Barry Herstein. A former CMO at PayPal, American Express, and the Financial Times Group, most recently Mr. Herstein was responsible for revitalizing Snapfish, the photo sharing and printing service, after a decline in revenue growth.

(Ex-Snapfishers seemed to be everywhere these days. Former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson recently set his sights on reimagining an Ivy League experience at half the cost.)

Betabeat chatted with Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson about the need for a CMO, Jetsetter’s role within the Gilt Groupe family, and those pesky tech blogs. Read More

Daily Daze

Layoffs at Gilt Groupe Complete: 90 Employees Let Go, Gilt City Closes Offices in Six Markets


Gilt Groupe’s 900-some employees can rest easy, for now. In response to questions from Betabeat, the company confirmed this afternoon that the recent spate of layoffs is over. CEO Kevin Ryan initially estimated that about 50 people would be let go, however, the total number of layoffs across Gilt Groupe’s businesses “ended at 80-90.”

In a statement, the company said, “We don’t foresee additional layoffs at this time.”

Betabeat heard word Friday that part of the restructuring would involved shutting down certain markets for Gilt City, the company’s location-based deals service that offers discounts on luxury events and experiences. In the statement, Gilt Groupe confirmed that it will be closing its offices in six secondary cities “effective immediately,” namely San Diego, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, and Atlanta. “We have not been as successful in smaller markets and the resources they require take away from growing our core business,” the company said.

Prior to this move, Gilt City operated in thirteen markets, so this represents a significant reduction. Going forward, Gilt Groupe said it will be “servicing those smaller markets through a centralized sales force.” Read More

Daily Daze

Layoffs Underway at Gilt Groupe Right Now: ‘General Atmosphere Is Terrifying’


Last Wednesday, Betabeat broke the news of impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. Later that morning, CEO Kevin Ryan downgraded the estimates we had heard, telling AllThingsD that the company intended to “selectively trim” about 50 people from its staff of 900 over the next couple months.

Tipsters have written into Betabeat that some of those layoffs are currently underway. “People leaving. Sadness. Super uncomfortable work environment,” said one source who wanted to remain anonymous, adding, “General atmosphere is terrifying.” Read More

Daily Daze

Layoffs and Restructuring at Gilt Groupe as New Verticals Fail to Deliver Growth [UPDATED]


UPDATE: Gilt Groupe has not returned requests for clarification or comment, but responded via AllThingsD this morning.

CEO Kevin Ryan told the blog: “We are not closing down any businesses. We are not closing down Gilt Taste, and we aren’t merging Gilt City and Jetsetter.” Mr. Ryan also said, “In its fifth month of business, Park & Bond did more revenue than any other business in its fifth month,” although he did not say by what metric. He added that President John Auerbach is still employed at the company for now. But, he noted, there was a chance some of its top 15 executives may leave. (Chief Marketing Officer David Zucker left the company in July and Chief Product Officer Stefan Pepe left the company in June.)

Mr. Ryan did, however, tell AllThingsD that Gilt expects to “selectively trim” staff by about 50 over the next couple months, but claimed that by the end of March the number of employees would be larger than it is now. Gilt Groupe, he said, is on track for an IPO, possibly at the end of the fourth quarter, but mostly likely in 2013.

As for Gilt Taste, Mr. Ryan claimed that the site would need fewer staffers despite “doing great.”

Business Insider, where Mr. Ryan is chairman, has also confirmed impending layoffs of 50 to 60 people within the next week or so. According to Business Insider’s source, five to six percent of the company will let go across various departments in order to get cash-flow break-even by the second quarter of 2012.

Here is our original post:

Since Friday Betabeat has been hearing rumors about impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. Late Tuesday night, a second source familiar with the company told us that the layoffs would happen on Wednesday and might be as high as 170 employees. We have reached out to Gilt Groupe for confirmation and will update the post as soon as we hear back.

The accounts vary, but both sources also point to restructuring within the company. One source said Gilt Taste, which hired former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl as editorial director last May, is expected to function at half its current workforce, with the remaining staffers funneled into other open positions in the company. Another source speculated that Gilt Taste was likely to be shut down.

Betabeat also heard that Gilt City and Jetsetter, which overlap in the high-end travel market, will merge. In October, Gilt City, which has a partnership deal with Google offers, acquired the daily deals site BuyWithMe, which itself suffered from big layoffs in the crowded deals space. Read More

Discount Daze

Gilt Groupe’s Obsession with All Things Vertical: ‘We Plow Through 100 Ideas a Week’

Mr. Deeming, via Crunchbase

What’s life like for Rob Deeming, Kevin Ryan’s “chief of staff” at Gilt Groupe? In a word: busy. The 33-year-old’s job centers around what seems like Gilt’s primary objective these days: launching new verticals as its core discount business matures and e-commerce competitors multiply.

In an interview with Mr. Deeming, a Brit with a Harvard MBA, The Street reports that the majority of Gilt growth comes from “a dizzying array” of new full-priced verticals, such as Jetsetter, Gilt Taste, and Park & Bond, which are expected to rake in $100 million combined within the next fiscal year. Gilt City, meanwhile, will account for 10 percent of overall revenue.

Dizzying seems like the right word to describe the pace. Mr. Deeming told the Street, “Now we plow through 100 ideas a week,” Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Fitocracy Mobilizes, Exfm Extends and Blueprint Health and Facebook Both Want You

Fitocracy goes mobile.

FITOCRACY MOBILE. “After what seems like an eternity, we’ve finally released the very first version of our mobile web app. That’s right, you can now log your workouts on the go if you have an iPhone or an Android phone!”

INCUBATE ME. Blueprint Health recently closed its fund and opened for applications.  “The program will be launching on Jan 9, 2012 with an application deadline of November 13.”

FACE ME. Facebook is hiring in New York. Via Inside Startups, the company is seeking a “Strategic Partner Development, Media” with “high levels of creativity and strategic thinking, extensive experience in the media industry, eight-or-more years experience, including 5 years of related partner or partner facing experience, a proven track record of initiating and successfully driving new business opportunities, exceptional communication and presentation skills.”

NEW MUSIC. Exfm is about to release its next major version, due out this afternoon. Look for a “push play music experiences available at, new extensions for Firefox and Safari, plus a completely revamped one for Chrome” as well as a new embeddable site player for music blogs.

NEW GILT CITY. “Gilt City is excited to announce that we have acquired Joe Bastianich and Jeff Zalaznick’s upscale private dining booking engine, Gilt City’s acquisition of will allow members access to over 90 of New York’s top private dining accommodations in restaurants such as Del Posto, Bluefin, Megu, Marc Forgione and Da Silvano.” Read More

Discount Daze

Gilt Groupe’s Strategy for Selling Coupons? A Summer House In East Hampton!


Just because Gilt Groupe decided to wade into the pedestrian business of local deals doesn’t mean it’s going down-market. Groupon can have its two-for-one bikini waxes and discount chiropractors. Gilt City will take the East Hamptons, thank you very much. Today Gilt City, which uses the company’s flash-sale model for local, luxury deals in cities like New York, L.A., and Tokyo, announced the Gilt City Hamptons House. From August 12th through Labor Day, the “exclusive summer oasis” will be offering “private” (to anyone willing to pay) events like dinner parties with celebrity chefs and film screenings.

Tickets for the 6,000-sq. ft. estate, complete with 45-foot pool, gym, and spa, are already on sale, including a pool party catered by Nobu, a fashion event with men’s designer Bonobos and yoga lessons with Russel Simmons. Read More

Discount Daze

New York Biz Wise To Deal Site Dangers

clipping coupons

In the booming market for daily and group deals, small business owners are finding they can play one service against another, and get burned if they’re not careful.

Avi Marko runs the Brooklyn based His first deal, reports the WSJ, was with Mamapedia brought an big traffic boost, 600 customers, but with half the revenue going back to Mamapedia, Marko didn’t make a dime. Read More