Marc Lore, the former CEO of Quidsi, just raised $US55 million to launch a new e-commerce startup, he writes on his blog.
In 2010, Amazon bought Quidsi — the e-commerce company responsible for Diapers.com, Soap.com, Wag.com, and other sites — for $US540 million.
Quidsi’s founders, Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara, made a killing, but the sale wasn’t entirely sweet.
Before the acquisition, Amazon had more-or-less declared a pricing war against Diapers.com. Amazon started offering deep, deep discounts on diapers, trying to undercut the smaller company. This was not the first time that Amazon was willing to lose money temporarily to stave off a competitor. Not long after Amazon started its aggressive price chopping, Quidsi sold.
Now, Lore has assembled a team of more than 30 employees (including many former Quidsi people) to launch an ecommerce company called “Jet,” Re/Code’s Jason Del Ray reports. Bharara will reportedly not be involved.
The site won’t launch until later this year, partially because of a non-compete clause from Amazon that hasn’t run out yet, Fortune sources report. Jet will operate out of Hoboken, New Jersey, and is working on an innovative logistics network, though we still don’t know what the site will actually sell (Lore promises to share more details in the coming months). Because Lore has already been up-close-and-personal with Amazon’s most brutal competitive tactics and strategies, he’s better prepared than anyone to take it on.
“At Jet we will make use of the latest advancements in technology to create a new shopping experience that will empower customers like never before,” Lore writes. “Jet will bring unprecedented transparency and efficiencies to the overall e-commerce market, and as a result, will transform the customer experience in a way that, until now, has not been possible.”
Here’s Lore’s full post:
This morning a story was published in Re/code speculating on the funding of my new venture.
I’m happy to confirm that we’ve raised a $US55M Series A round of funding led by NEA with participation from Accel Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and MentorTech Ventures. While it is too early to delve into the specifics of the business we are building, I wanted to share my excitement for this new venture.
As we all know, e-commerce has come a long way in just two decades, altering our expectations around price, selection and service. We now expect the lowest prices, infinite selection and overnight delivery right to our doorstep. This transformation in customer experience is undeniable and, at the same time, I believe there is still a massive opportunity for innovation.
At my previous company Quidsi, we built a brand (Diapers.com) that forged deep personal relationships with mums (and dads) by creating a focused and efficient online experience with amazing customer service. Behind the scenes, this started with logistics — ensuring that customers received their goods quickly. Consumers responded to this idea by becoming champions for our brand and sharing their experience with friends and family.
But there is still more we can do. A lot more.
At Jet we will make use of the latest advancements in technology to create a new shopping experience that will empower customers like never before. Jet will bring unprecedented transparency and efficiencies to the overall e-commerce market, and as a result, will transform the customer experience in a way that, until now, has not been possible.
We’ll share more details in the coming months. In the meantime, thanks for your interest in what we’re up to. It’s an awesome time for e-commerce and I couldn’t be more excited.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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