Startup Food Chain
All the Seamless Ladies
Since GrubHub Seamless went public with a valuation of $2.67 billion, venture capitalists are racing to find the next hit food delivery app for their portfolios.
According to the report on the CB Insights blog, investments in food tech in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1) were the highest they’ve been in five years. Over $200 million went to food and grocery apps during those three months, which was the biggest VC investing boom in over a decade.
Most of these are small, local apps that focus on a particular set of stores and services, whereas GrubHub and Seamless are nationwide giants with a combined 25 years under their belts. The two companies merged last year, and served over three million customers nationwide in 2013 alone.
Delivery From Inconvenience
New York single people: you have two options for tomorrow night.
Either you stay in with your single friends and stuff your faces while watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, or you go out with your single friends and celebrate your “fabulous” lives à la Sex and the City.
There’s something freeing about online food delivery. At the click of the mouse, you can specify your finicky or disgusting food preferences in private. Even your roommates don’t have to know that you requested double sour cream on those 9 a.m. nachos.
Two of the city’s biggest online food delivery companies merged in May — but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is hoping to keep the online food ordering game competitive with a few new rules (well, for now).
Mr. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with GrubHub and Seamless. The agreement states that the companies will no longer be allowed to form exclusive agreements with certain vendors, a release from Mr. Schneiderman’s office states, and they must sever any existing ties within the next 45 days.
After rumors swirled the past few days that food delivery companies GrubHub and Seamless were in talks to merge, the news is now official. Bloomberg reports that the companies are combining in an effort to out-deliver their competitors in the fast-growing online ordering sector.
Matt Maloney, CEO of Chicago-based GrubHub, will lead the merged entity while New York-based Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky will be its president. Financial details have not yet been released but neither company is paying to acquire the other. The company will be rebranded, although a new name hasn’t been selected.
You’d think after Hurricane Sandy, nothing short of the actual apocalypse could rattle New Yorkers. And yet, if Twitter is any indication, it seems there’s a fair bit of panicky flailing happening around the city right now. Well, buck up, because we’ve assembled a complete Internet preparedness kit featuring everything you might possibly need.
Maybe also buy some batteries, though?
Deliver Me From Evil
A billboard in the Union Square station is kind of like the Inception of Internet references, collecting every advertiser’s notion of what is cool/hip on the web and slapping it onto one delightful subway ad.
Sure, social networks may know you better than Seamless–Facebook knows what you like, Google knows what you search for, Twitter knows who you follow, OkCupid knows how you like it. But ordering meals to your door is still an oddly intimate experience. Often you’re sitting in your home hungry, lazy, vulnerable to your Read More
After the Storm
Lots Of Tiny Wicker Puppets Sold Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson took to the company’s blog to address his craft-obsessed minons and report big new numbers. Etsy recently hit 20 million members across over 200 countries. In the first week of November, they passed the $700 million sales mark and their direct checkout system has now processed over $100 million in transactions. By the end of the year, Etsy projects that it will have sold over 100 million items in the company’s history.
The company is also going all out for the holiday season and expects to have its best month yet. It’s running a multi-million-dollar online advertising campaign and opening a Etsy Holiday Shop in SoHo from November 29th through December 8th. SoHo though? Isn’t Greenpoint or Williamsburg more on target with the Etsy brand?
Chu Bets Against Zynga Betable has already announced partnerships with big game companies and is right on the path to become the Spotify of online gambling and pass its closest rival, Zynga. Ya-Bing Chu, a former VP and GM of Zynga’s mobile division, has now joined Betable as the company’s new Chief Product Officer. At Zynga, he was responsible for operating Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends. Mr. Chu explains the move in an essay on Betable’s blog, where he says, “I realized that Betable was the only frictionless way to enter the real money market, which is revolutionary.”
This week, just when you most wished for the familiar comfort of Seamless order delivered to your door, loss of power and Internet, lack of availability or guilt over subjecting delivery guys to the elements kept you away.
In the midst of the storm, one wit started a Tumblr chronicling the most egregious egregious wait times Read More