New Amazon Competitor Is Like an 'Online Costco'

Boxed was built by 10 people in 90 days with just $1M

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 1, 2013 3:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Amazon.com has a new competitor to deal with this holiday shopping season—a company built in 90 days with just over $1 million in initial funding. Now six months old, Boxed "is the online Costco," Quartz reports, delivering bulk goods straight to your door within two days in any of the lower 48 states, and overnight to some major cities. If that's not impressive enough for a company still in its infancy, Boxed—which was specifically designed for mobile platforms—was created by a small team of 10 engineers and project managers, most of whom worked on mobile games first. Of the app and e-commerce platform: "It was actually a lot easier to build than a game," says CEO Chieh Huang.

So how'd they do it? Boxed currently sells just 600 popular items, staying away from heavy stuff like dog food, ordered wholesale directly from manufacturers. It doesn't re-package goods before shipping them to customers from rented warehouses in either New Jersey or Las Vegas, and UPS handles the shipping. As for the software, they built it from scratch. "Online, there's not many things per unit that are cheaper than what we sell right now," Huang says. The next step is to put a system in place that offers to re-supply goods automatically. You may never have to stand in line for toilet paper again, says Huang.

A look at the Boxed app.
A look at the Boxed app.   (Boxed.com screenshot)
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