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Tuft & Needle’s JT Marino and Daehee Park play nice with Amazon

Marino and Park are No. 69 on the Recode 100.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

When JT Marino and Daehee Park quit their engineering jobs in 2012 to create mattress startup Tuft & Needle, they decided to do so with no venture funding. That makes the startup a rarity in the now highly competitive bed-in-a-box industry.

Even so, the co-founders managed to grow their company to $100 million in revenue last year.

Now Tuft & Needle, one of the most popular mattress makers on Amazon, is making a splash in physical retail — with the help of Amazon.

This summer it began outfitting its fourth physical store with Amazon technology, including Alexa-powered Echo devices programmed to answer customer questions, one-click purchasing through the Amazon app and one-day shipping with Amazon Prime membership. The startup also hopes to partner with Amazon for two-hour deliveries through Prime Now.

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