It seems Instagram-driven grocery pop-ups are all over New York right now. Earlier this month we checked out the snack shopping experience at Pop Up Grocer in SoHo. Now, Hungryroot, the grocery e-commerce platform, debuts its first-ever IRL retail location, and the first-of-its-kind direct-to-consumer grocery pop-up. Though Flatiron has no shortage of groceries (and a nearby Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Eataly) the vegan-friendly online produce shop hopes to attract office workers in the area with plant-based offerings. The pop-up runs now until June 28. Online, Hungryroot only offers subscription-based services, a model that's increasingly prevalent amongst meal kit and other delivery food services: a customizable small order, 11 items costs $69; Medium, 16 items is $99; Large, 21 items, costs $129. You're locked into the bundle deal, though you can cancel at anytime. They compete with other online grocers such as Peapod, Instacart and Fresh Direct's FoodKick (which markets itself as the more millennial-friendly arm) with similar pricing. According to a recent poll from Morning Consult, which surveyed 2,191 adults, only nine percent said they stayed on with their food delivery subscription for half a year or more. Subscription services are waning, perhaps why Hungryroot wants to try a different model.
Online used car startup Shift adds another $40M, snags COO in road to IPO
GrubMarket raises $25M more for its farm-to-table food delivery service
Farmers markets have become a staple presence in many US cities, where there is a steady supply of smaller, often organic farmers and other food producers wanting a more direct channel to sell their goods, and a steady demand from foody types who like having the option of bypassing bigger grocery stores to amble around a group of stalls with a wider choice of items to cook and eat. Now, one of the startups that has turned that model into a profitable on-demand delivery business has raised some funding as it continues its expansion in the US, and beyond, en route to an IPO filing, potentially as soon as this year. GrubMarket, which works with smaller farms and other suppliers to sell and deliver their items by way of its online store both to businesses — such as restaurants and stores of different sizes, as well as the plethora of food startups that prepare food for consumers — and consumers, has raised $25 million in an oversubscribed C1 round of funding (it was originally only going to be $15 million).
How this start-up is trying to disrupt the oil industry with technology
What makes a consumer brand marketable?
It seems like every day I see an ad online or on the subway for a new consumer product — from shoes, to vitamins, or even blue-light glasses. As discussed by others, there is a great un-bundling of the old conglomerates occurring where each and every brand you can think of now has a hip, new, millennial-focused counterpart...
Built Robotics’ massive construction excavator drives itself
I’ve never had a meeting quite like the one I had with Built Robotics. Within about 10 minutes of meeting Built’s co-founder Noah Ready-Campbell, we’re steering an 80,000-pound construction excavator around what is basically his company’s back yard. He wants me to see what it’s like to drive one; how much skill and finesse it takes to safely and efficiently move mountains of dirt around with this massive machine. The answer? Lots. That’s why his company wants these machines to drive themselves. Built is taking the concepts and technology that others are using to build self-driving cars and adapting them for a whole different vertical: construction.
In the Elevator With Away CEO Steph Korey
RigUp secures $60M to fuel the growth of its marketplace
Continuing a fiery month of funding for Austin tech, local oil and gas technology startup RigUp raised a $60 million Series C on Tuesday. RigUp’s marketplace connects oil and gas contractors with on-demand jobs available in their industry. The company reported that pre-qualified oilfield laborers can land their next job within just a few days of registering on RigUp’s platform. Its technology adds value to both enterprise buyers and contractors by making the process to hire contingent labor much faster and easier. “Operators enjoy the simplicity, speed and transparency we provide — contractors enjoy the ease of finding work and getting paid quickly,” said Yong.
Viacom CEO lays out distribution strategy after PlutoTV acquisition
How Ibotta Is Helping Every Day Consumers Save Time And Money
Denver, Colorado-based Ibotta is a free mobile shopping app that makes it easier for consumers to earn cash back on everyday purchases by using a smartphone. Ibotta has partnered with a number of brands and retailers to provide offers on groceries, clothes, gifts, electronics, restaurants and more. Ever since Ibotta launched in 2012, the company has paid out over $275 million in cash back for its users and has been downloaded over 23 million times. And Ibotta users spend over $6 billion every year using the app. Currently, Ibotta has over 500 employees, most of which are based in Denver. Ibotta founder and CEO Bryan Leach was born in Nairobi, Kenya where his father worked for a car dealership but dreamed about becoming an entrepreneur in the U.S. Leach said that he had a front-row seat to his father’s version of the American dream
Woman Spends Her Entire Life Savings On 300 Gallons of Rose Wine
Alix Peabody was 24 years old and suffering from a big health crisis when she started throwing some parties at her aunt and uncle’s house in Sonoma to raise money to pay for her medical bills. After going through this upheaval, she realized that she wanted to change directions and do something centered around women that was more meaningful. She then received a notification that she had to transfer some funds from the 401k plan she had from her first job out of Dartmouth as a math major. So, she took her entire life savings and decided to buy 300 gallons of rosé wine and some cans to put it in, and she started Bev. “I cashed it all in to buy this tote of rosé and see where it took me,” Peabody says.
This Entrepreneur Started a Streaming Service for His 2-Year-Old. Five Years Later, Viacom Bought It for $340 Million
When serial entrepreneur Ilya Pozin and his co-founder Tom Ryan launched Pluto TV in 2014, the idea went against the grain. The future of online entertainment looked like it would be mostly on-demand, subscription-based, and ad-free--à la Netflix or Hulu. Meanwhile, Pluto TV would stream over 100 channels of live cable TV for free--no sign-up required--and use ads to make money. (The startup later added on-demand content.) Five years later, Pozin and Ryan's bet is paying off. In January, Viacom agreed to acquire Los Angeles-based Pluto TV for $340 million in cash. Having mainly operated in the U.S., the acquisition will give Pluto TV access to Viacom's massive library of content and the opportunity to expand faster internationally, chief growth officer Pozin told Inc. Viacom, composed of networks like Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon, has more than 700 million subscribers and operates in over 160 countries. Going global while maintaining a lead in the U.S. is not easy, as it requires more resources and unique content, Pozin admits. Pluto TV had raised $50 million in funding to date and has 12 million monthly active users.