Listen: Rakuten Acquisition of Curbside Shakes Up Retail


Reports of the demise of brick-and-mortar retail may be a bit premature if Japanese retail giant Rakuten has anything to say about it.

Rakuten, a rival to Amazon’s e-commerce domination, has just acquired Curbside in an “all cash” deal. The mobile commerce company, founded by former Apple engineers,Jaron Waldman and Denis Laprise, had been valued at more than $100M during its last venture round in 2015.

One of the most popular features in Curbside’s e-commerce suite is named ARRIVE, which can track a customer’s journey and ETA in order to have their products ready in an instant.

CEO and co-founder Jaron Waldman said in a press release: “For our customers and partners the headline is that nothing will change. Curbside will operate independently as a Rakuten-owned company with our team, services, partners and product offerings all remaining intact.”

In an additional move to strengthen customer loyalty, Rakuten is also developing an in-house blockchain currency, Rakuten Coin.

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