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?
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.
Deliver Me From Evil
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
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.”
After the Storm
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
Techies Be Snackin
Founded a year and a half ago in San Francisco, Cater2Me quickly found its niche feeding the ravenous techies of Silicon Valley, nabbing clients like Dropbox, Square and Klout. “You can call it the Google effect, if you want,” cofounder Alex Lorton told Betabeat, and “that idea is becoming the norm in New York, as well.”
Hence the company’s decision to expand to New York City. The service just launched yesterday, but it sounds like Mr. Lorton is already halfway to going out for the cheerleading team.
“I think it’s cool to be part of the expansion of Silicon Alley, to use the phrase, to be part of that startup community,” he said. “People in startups are, I think, more willing to embrace something that’s new, something that’s initially not as tested.”
Well, hopefully it’s not that untested.
Hires and Fires
This morning Seamless founder Jason Finger, legend of Silicon Alley, sent an email out to friends with subject line “Back in the saddle. . .” It seems the Silicon
Valley Alley vet has taken up the reins at CityGrid Media and will join IAC’s local listings website network. “I’ve joined IAC as CEO of CityGrid Media,” Mr. Finger said in the email. “CityGrid is the largest content and ad network for ‘local’ and includes several owned and operated websites including Citysearch.com, insiderpages.com and Urbanspoon.com, as well as BuzzLabs.”
As if Seamless didn’t have enough to worry about with GrubHub nipping at its heels. Ever heard of online food ordering service FoodToEat? Maybe not, as the young startup has been quietly growing in beta. But FoodToEat launched in June 2011 and after a recent redesign, founder Deepti Sharma Kapur, 25, is ready to feed her public.
FoodToEat offers food from 500 restaurants, and Ms. Kapur charges vendors just $.10 per order–a huge savings compared to her competitors, who she said charge between 10 and 18 percent.
FoodToEat has also signed up 50 food trucks, thanks in part to the fact that Ms. Kapur speaks four languages. The original inspiration for the site came when she was preparing for the LSAT and pondering how many minutes of studying the long line at Treats Truck would cost her.