Challenging an e-commerce behemoth like Amazon requires an immense amount of connections and resources, not to mention experience and strategy. Jet.com has plenty of the latter two, having been founded by the same man who founded Diapers.com, and with $350 million in new funding and another $150 million on the way, the promising e-commerce startup now has some of the former as well. The company still has a long way to go before it can be considered a legitimate threat to Amazon, but it intends to use this funding to help it get there.
Jet.com has closed $350 million in new funding, and says it has verbal agreements for another $150 million. The shopping startup, run by the entrepreneur who created Diapers.com, says a large portion of the money will be spent on marketing, hiring and customer support as it tries to attract a big customer base to compete against mass retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target. “It was definitely a challenging financing environment, no question about that,” CEO Marc Lore said in an interview. “And the fact we were able to get as much demand as we did at the valuation we had is just a testament to our performance to date and the size of the overall opportunity and the team we assembled.”Re/code previously reported that Jet was in talks to raise up to $500 million total at a $1 billion pre-money valuation, and that the lead investor in the round was mutual fund giant Fidelity. The company confirmed those facts today and said that previous investors, which Re/code has reported include Alibaba, Bain Capital Ventures and Google Ventures, also contributed in this round. The total could climb a bit higher than $500 million if it takes on more strategic investors and potentially some debt, according to Lore.