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CEO Who Sold to Amazon Raises $55 Million to Challenge Amazon Again

NEA is leading the investment in e-commerce startup screenshot
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

If you can’t beat ’em, try, try again.

That’s the playbook being followed by Marc Lore, the former CEO of parent company Quidsi, which he sold to Amazon in 2011 amid increased competition from the Seattle retail giant.

At one time, looked like it could become a long-term competitor to Amazon. But while Lore and co-founder Vinit Bharara made a fortune on the business, selling Quidsi to Amazon for $550 million, people who know Lore say he wants another crack at building a giant e-commerce company that stays independent for the long haul.

So Lore has now raised a $55 million investment to build out a new e-commerce company called Jet, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal. The investment is being led by New Enterprise Associates, with additional investment from Accel Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and MentorTech Ventures, according to sources. With the exception of Bain Capital, all of the firms previously invested in Quidsi. The deal values Jet at well more than $100 million, one of these people said.

Re/code reported in May that Lore was looking to raise around $50 million.

(Update 1:51 pm ET: Lore confirmed Jet’s funding in a post published this afternoon on his personal blog.)

Lore has self-funded Jet up until now and has assembled a team of more than 30 employees already, sources say. Among them are many former senior Quidsi employees that helped turn the diaper-selling upstart into a thorn in Amazon’s side. Jet plans to operate out of Hoboken, N.J., and is expected to launch in 2015.

Many of the details of the products Jet will sell remain a mystery. But sources say the e-commerce company will be extremely tech-focused and is working on innovating around its logistics network.

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