Curbside doesn’t want you to ever wait in line at Best Buy, or get lost in Target ever again, and it just raised $US25 million in Series B funding to expand its vision from San Francisco to the rest of the United States.
The startup’s premise is simple: go into the Curbside app, select what you want from one of Curbside’s retail partners, and have your purchase ready at the curb by the time you pull up to the store. No parking, no searching, no waiting.
And unlike most on-demand delivery services (or in this case, pick-up services), it’s free for the consumer. Curbside makes money off small commissions for each purchase it coordinates for its retail partners.
Curbside CEO Jaron Waldman told Business Insider that Curbside’s true potential lies in the suburbs, an area not usually targeted by on-demand companies. “We have done well in downtown San Francisco, which is our most urban area,” Waldman said. “But our strongest pickup locations have been in the suburbs. It’s off the charts. And what we are excited about is that a lot of the country looks like that.”
Waldman said Curbside plans to use the $US25 million to launch in 15 major metro areas, and the focus won’t just be on the city, but also on the extended expanse around them. “We think the economics scale really well outside the wealthy enclaves, where someone may not want to pay five to ten dollars to get something delivered on the same day.”
Curbside is also rolling out a new feature where retailers will be able to embed curbside delivery as an option on their checkout. This integration could overcome the hurdle of getting users to sign up for a separate app to save a few minutes at Macy’s.
Investors like Sutter Hill Ventures and Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures are banking that Curbside’s no-cost model will appeal to consumers. “It’s a speedier and more convenient solution than home delivery options, which are ripe with markups and service fees,” Sutter Hill Ventures’ Sam Pullara said.
Waldman points to the month-over-month sales increase of over 50 per cent Curbside has seen since it’s San Francisco launch. “And, the service is proving to be extremely sticky with shoppers,” Waldman said. “Over 55 per cent of whom have made repeat purchases.”
Now the question is, can it scale?