Here’s a little flash sales e-commerce history for you. Before there was Rue La La or One Kings Lane or even Gilt Groupe, there was Vente-Privee. And it’s headed for our shores.
The French startup just announced plans to launch a website in the U.S. by mid-November in partnership with American Express, reports Reuters. Of course the company, which was founded in 2001, will be entering a very different market than the one it started in, with both Amazon muscling its way into daily deals and the proliferation of discount fashion plays.
But that doesn’t seem to have dampened Vente-Privee’s ambitions. With American Express’s help, it aims to reach $500 million in sales in the next five years. Both Vente and Amex agreed to invest $15-20 million a piece in the joint venture. Read More
A huge new player stepped into the tablet space this morning to challenge the completely dominant reign of Apple’s iPad. Bloomberg had the scoop before the 200-some live bloggers in Hell’s Kitchen could even get started. The device is smaller, seven inches versus ten, and costs just $199 versus the iPad’s $499 price tag.
The Kindle Fire, as Amazon’s tablet device is called, is missing a lot of things. It doesn’t have a camera or microphone, so no Facetime communication is possible. It is WiFi only, which, having used the iPad with AT&T 3G for several months now, we believe is a huge drawback. 3G service makes the tablet a truly mobile device. Read More
E-COMMERCE COMPANY MOVES IN ON CONCRETE JUNGLE. Amazon is building a new team in New York, Betabeat is hearing. Details are vague, but recruiters are reaching out to developers via emails with spelling mistakes.
No, wait! Didn’t Jeff Bezos invest in someone local recently? Someone, someone, who was it? Ohhh, now we remember: Mr. Bezos deigned to gave the local startup scene a boost in the form of a check to General Assembly. Standing on the shoulders of giants!
THE NEW BLACK. We recently wrote that TechStars alum Melanie Moore has officially shuttered her fashion startup ToVieFor for pastures unknown. Last we heard, she was considering two opportunities and would decide in the next few months. Ms. Moore has quietly updated her website, however. “I run an awesome fashion / tech startup called Elizabeth & Clarke in New York City. Though, you might know me from my first company, ToVieFor.” Read More
When Betabeat first visited General Assembly a few weeks before it opened, co-founder Adam Pritzker told us that the vision was to create an educational space free from the pressures of venture capital so often tied into startup incubators and accelerators.
That has all changed now. Howard Schultz’s Maveron fund led the round, snagging Yuri Milner’s DST Global and Jeff Bezos’s Bezos Expeditions as investors in General Assembly. Alexis Ohanian, Hosain Rahman, and Alex Asseily are also in the round. The new money will allow GA to expand far quicker than they could relying on a $200,000 grant from the city, dues from members and freebies from sponsors like Rackspace and Skype.