With the material and physical world going offline and the local businesses struggling to survive and ordering online becoming the new normal with vanishing foot traffic, Underwood, a product development leader at Slack found a better way.
Grabbing the opportunity Underwood answered the growing question for small and standalone businesses as the available means to sell online were costly or lacking. Thus launching Nearby in September 2020, a congregation of the local marketplace where customers could buy from numerous local businesses. Starting small in Oakland, California with only 7 merchants now stand at $ 100,000 million in sales. According to Annie Kadavy, Nearby is problem-focused and thus works better. The startup raised $21 Million led by Redpoint Ventures.
Offering free sign-ups to merchants covering both shipping and logistics it asks for floored fees for every transaction compared to other online marketplaces. Austin and Charleston are the next Nearby marketplaces. A survey conducted by Sitecore shows nearly 40% of consumers want to reduce their spending on Amazon and support local businesses, thus it is no surprise to Underwood as customers flock to Nearby.
With business creation rising, Nearby comes at a time when the internet becomes pivotal in everyone’s life. Underwood aims to make Nearby a barrier-free platform for merchants in order to allow them to build their customer bases. Welcoming new businesses and existing ones with open arms.