Magic — the service that lets you text a number and get “anything you want as long as it’s not illegal” — is raising $US12 million from Sequoia Capital at a $US40 million valuation, just a few days after graduating from the Y Combinator startup accelerator program, reports TechCrunch.
If Sequoia is really investing in Magic at that insanely high valuation, it’s banking that customers want simplicity more than anything.
And the way Magic works is very simple: Text the official number with whatever you want, and they get it to you. Maybe your order is filled by Seamless or Postmates or another delivery company entirely, but you don’t care. They give you a price (plus a markup), and if you agree, they deliver what you ordered, from pizzas to groceries to party supplies to liquor, like magic (get it).
Just don’t order a tiger. It’s a thing.
Magic experienced a huge surge of popularity when it first debuted back in February. It was the weekend project of a company called Bettir, which was enrolled in Y Combinator, which mentors startups as they develop their business in exchange for some equity.
But after Magic caught fire out of nowhere, Bettir decided the service would be a better business, and changed courses partway through the Y Combinator startup program.
Nothing Magic does is new. But it’s the simplest way to order things that anybody has come up with, and just this week, Facebook explained how it thought chat is the future interface for businesses.
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