Curbside, a startup with $50 million in funding that powers same-day store and restaurant pickup of online orders, has been acquired by Tokyo-based marketplace and logistics supplier Rakuten for an undisclosed amount.
“Curbside is changing the way traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants are interacting with their customers,” said Yaz Iida, President of Rakuten USA Inc. in a press release. “Welcoming Curbside to the Rakuten family is all about the consumer, and we are excited to be able to empower consumers with even more ways to enjoy shopping.”
Curbside counts CVS, Sephora, Chipotle, Nordstrom, Pizza Hut, Chevron, Boston Market, Westfield, HEB, and Yelp as major clients for its services. The company got a lot of attention in 2014 for a trial with Target, which ended in 2016. The following year Target launched its own curbside pickup offering.
The startup created a popular software developer’s kit for mobile app developers that uses predictive technology to lets retailers know when customers are arriving for order pickup, when orders arrive and when customers are checking in for appointments. It has driven a majority of the company’s business.
“For our customers and partners the headline is that nothing will change,” said Curbside co-founder Jaron Waldman in a company blog post. “Curbside will operate independently as a Rakuten-owned company with our team, services, partners and product offerings all remaining intact. Joining the Rakuten family will give Curbside resources to accelerate our platform, scale globally and help our partners tap into Rakuten’s sizable ecosystem.”
Combining Rakuten’s mobile capabilities with Curbside’s app will give restaurants and retailers “an immediate, convenient way to let consumers order ahead and drive growth,” Waldmon said. “Store operators armed with real-time information can provide great service to the growing number of mobile shoppers.”