Hyped-up Amazon-killer Jet is reportedly close to running out of cash

Marc lore jet.comJetMarc Lore, CEO and founder of Jet.com

Jet, the Amazon-killer startup that is raising a new round of funding, is running out of cash, the Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler reports.

An earlier report from Fortune indicated that Jet was raising a $US500 million round led by Fidelity.

The Journal reports that Jet hasn’t closed the round of funding, which could be as much as $US550 million when it’s finally complete. Fidelity is in talks to contribute a $US90 million investment, leading the round.

And it sounds like Jet needs the new cash infusion.

The startup is bleeding money. Last month, Jet had $US63 million in cash on hand according to financial documents reviewed by the Journal, which indicated that the company is expecting a $US76 million cash drain in November and December, mostly due to marketing costs. (If you live in New York City, you’ve no doubt seen Jet’s advertising plastered atop taxi cabs and inside of subway cars.) A spokesperson for Jet told the Journal that the company is planning to cut down on marketing during the holidays.

Fortune had previously reported that the new round of funding would bring Jet’s pre-money valuation to $US1 billion.

The Journal says that when it’s all said and done, the new round of funding will bring Jet’s post-money valuation to $US1.55 billion. But when Jet started fundraising last month, it was seeking a $US2 billion valuation, and earlier this year, the company had talked with investors about a $US3 billion valuation, the Journal said.

Jet previously raised $US225 million at a $US600 million valuation to take on Amazon — the most equity funding ever raised in the first 12 months by a US commerce company.

Jet founder Marc Lore sold his first company, Quidsi, to Amazon for $US540 million in 2010. Lore has been frank about the fact that Jet will need to raise a ton of money to achieve scale.

Jet hit over $US1 million in sales on its first day after opening in July. It was the No. 4 marketplace in terms of sales just a month after launching, beating out Sears and Best Buy. The company promises to offer prices that are up to 15% lower than anywhere else on the web, and it developed an exclusive technology that adjusts prices in real time based on what users put in their carts.

But in October — less than three months after its launch — Jet changed its business model and dropped its $US50 membership fee it once said would be its sole source of profit. The startup switched from its Costco-like model to instead try to make profit on each sale.

We’ve reached out to Jet for comment.

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

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