E-commerce is still hot, especially if you're a food and meal kit delivery startup. Maple, Gooble, Home Chef, Plated, Hello Fresh, Blue Apron are just a few of the seriously well-funded startups disrupting the subscription commerce category by solving our "what's for dinner tonight" dilemma. Overall funding to e-commerce soared 136% in 2015 but does the recent acquisition of Gilt Groupe at a less than unicorn price signal trouble ahead for startups and investors (that have pumped $30.3 billion into 2,013 deals over the past 5 years)?
The current generation of e-commerce startups in New York City remain fiercely undeterred.
Perhaps their confidence comes from being located in a city with a population that expects anything can be and will be delivered at any hour, on any day. The online grocer Fresh Direct launched in the Big Apple in 1999 (survived the dotcom bust), continues to offer ultra convenient next-day delivery of everything from organic produce to live lobsters--along with scheduled delivery slots starting as early as 6:30 am. When overnight is not fast enough for you, there is Amazon. New York City is also one of 20 cities across the U.S. where Amazon offers Prime Now its ultra fast delivery service.
There are more reasons for having confidence in the e-commerce category, beyond close proximity to an enthusiastic e-consumer base: supportive peers, industry experts and willing mentors. These eight startup founders, forming a diverse cross-section of the e-commerce space, share their enthusiasm for NYC e-commerce, which bodes well for the continued strength of and innovation in, this investment category:
Nineteenth Amendment Cofounder/COO, Gemma Sole: "For e-commerce, you'd be hard up to find better breadth and knowledge in a talent pool and a better understanding of consumers than in NYC. For startups, t the synergies are real. People from every industry literally intersect on city streets to make things happen."
Minibar Delivery Co-Founder, Lara Crystal: "The best part about building a technology company in NYC is how supportive the entire start-up eco-system is."
Beltology Chief Beltologist, Andrew Heffernan: "The NYC ecommerce startup community brings so much energy and youth New York. No longer is the city dominated by suits and stilettos. There is a subtle elegance to the folks that work in ecommerce startups."
Foursquare Editor-at-Large, Sarah Spagnolo: "The community of NYC is unparalleled, both in terms of the diversity of tech talent but also the culture more broadly. As a location intelligence company we're all about understanding how people move through the world and find new places. From our HQ in SoHo, we have easy access to the new places and emerging neighborhoods we know our users love. We see it first hand."
BaubleBar co-founder, Daniella Yacobovsky: "The hard work of our peers in the startup community in NYC is exciting and inspiring. The network has a wonderful balance competition and support where we push each other to innovate, grow and succeed while also being available to provide advice, attend events and test new products."
Jet VP of Marketing, Sumaiya Balbale: "There's a tremendous amount of creative energy and talent on the east coast, and it's coming together to fuel a really innovative tech community. The diversity of startups located here--touching industries from fashion to consumer retail to tech--is unlike anywhere else".
Handy co-founder, Oisin Hanrahan: "Some startup communities are located in areas where startups and tech companies dominate the local business scene and that can result in component companies being unable to look at the bigger picture. NYC offers the perfect balance of being a fast-paced center for business of every imaginable kind, has one of the most discerning customer bases in the world, but also benefits from having an incredible pool of talent".
THINX Co-Founder & CEO, Miki Agrawal: "The fact that Silicone Valley and SF aren't the only "respected" tech hubs anymore. Exciting to be able to meet up with other ecommerce businesses in NYC and talk best practices..."