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Converting browsers to buyers is a challenge for online retailers. Cart abandonment is common, especially when shoppers have to create an account or enter their personal details manually.
Few have solved the problem like Amazon, with its seamless, one-click checkout. To the end user, Amazon’s checkout may seem simple. But there’s an enormous amount of tech behind it, ensuring account data is secure, payments are processed, and orders are fulfilled.
An exec who helped lead the teams responsible for Amazon’s global logistics and fulfillment, Maju Kuruvilla, just joined Bolt, the one-click checkout startup on a mission to help smaller retailers take on the giant online marketplace.
In late December, Kuruvilla, who spent nearly eight years at Amazon where he most recently served as VP and GM of Global Mile (Amazon’s international shipping and logistics organization), joined Bolt as its first CTO, leading product and engineering for the startup.
When Bolt’s cofounder and CEO Ryan Breslow and Kuruvilla first met, Kuruvilla wasn’t planning on leaving Amazon. But watching Bolt’s growth in 2020 and meeting with some of Bolt’s investors convinced him to make the move.
“The more I learned about it, the more excited I became, and I saw the potential in how Bolt could change how people buy things online,” Kuruvilla said.
Read more: One-click checkout startup Fast is reportedly in talks to raise a new round with a valuation as high as $1 billion. Here’s the pitch deck it used to bag $20 million from investors like fintech giant Stripe.
For online retailers, the threat of Amazon has been looming for some time. Amazon’s US e-commerce sales are expected to be nearly $270 billion in 2020. That accounts for 38% of the estimated $710 billion US consumers are estimated to have spent online in 2020, according to eMarketer. Bolt wants to level the playing field.
“If we’re talking about how we democratize commerce, level the playing field, and give independent retailers their control back against these mega marketplaces, it’s with single-click,” Breslow said.
Bolt, which first launched in 2014, has raised $215 million to date from investors including lead investors Activant Capital, General Atlantic, and Tribe Capital. The company was last valued at $500 million by Pitchbook after its Series C last July. Bolt told TechCrunch that its subsequent raise in December, an additional $75 million to the Series C round, valued the company at roughly double, implying a current valuation around $1 billion.
2020 was a big year for Bolt. It signed Authentic Brands Group, parent company to retailers like Aéropostale, Forever 21, and Lucky Brand Jeans. It also has partnerships with marketplace players like BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
Bolt currently has 4.5 million shoppers in its network. Breslow expects the startup to hit 30 million users by the end of 2021.
“As this network scales, this is the great equalizer for independent commerce, because now there’s going to be no difference shopping at Forever 21 for the first-time versus shopping at Amazon,” Breslow said.
Bolt’s checkout tech helps small retailers offer the same experience as …read more
Source:: Business Insider