Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten acquired Curbside, a US-based start-up which helps traditional merchants serve mobile-centric customers, for an undisclosed amount.
In a statement, Yaz Iida, president of Rakuten USA, said Curbside is changing the way brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants interact with customers: “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”.
Rakuten described Curbside, founded in 2013, as a location-centric mobile commerce platform which makes it easy to find, buy and pickup products at nearby stores. The Curbside app searches real-time local inventory across retailers and uses location-based technologies to alert stores when a customer is arriving for a pickup.
The company stated its predictive arrival technology had been downloaded onto millions of consumer devices.
Jaron Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Curbside, said the deal with Rakuten “allows us to accelerate our platform and expand our support for both merchants and shoppers.”
“Curbside and Rakuten share the vision that the future of mobile commerce is local, and that extending our platform to merchants for delivering great, low friction commerce experiences in and around their stores is an area of huge opportunity.”
The company raised between $40 million and $50 million from investors, including Sutter Hill Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Index Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Chicago Ventures, DealstreetAsia reported.