Boxed is attracting interest from a range of potential suitors and there have been a few internal changes as a result. The who’s who list of possible buyers includes Amazon, Alibaba, Costco, Target, Kroeger and Aldi.
For those not familiar with Boxed or its business model, the New York based company sells bulk staples for consumers and snacks for offices while relying on technology to improve its operation, attract large investors and has increased its valuation to the neighborhood of $470 Million.
What makes this interesting is not only the range of suitors from marketplaces to food retailers but the change in how innovative technology is acquired. Amazon has been an innovation powerhouse, especially when it comes to fulfillment, but Boxed has developed a responsive fulfillment operation that incorporates a sophisticated approach to what, in essence, is the fulfillment of bulk items that encroaches on Amazon’s own business. On the surface it might not seem that using a combination of Social Media, warehouse robots and superior supply chain operations could produce ROI on scale for selling consumables like paper towels while competing with Amazon but Boxed has made it work.
Ecommerce is at a pivot point that emphasizes nimble, user friendly interactions. Finding ways to answer these consumer preferences requires investment and investors expect a return on their money, which is where Boxed finds itself now. Do they go for another round of funding with the goal of a public offering as has been the plan, or sell to a larger company ready to leverage Boxed within their own operation?
It is certain that Boxed and its investors have had attractive offers to consider and will have more to come, less certain is whether the true value of Boxed is as an ongoing business or for its operations playbook. The market will decide how Boxed moves forward.
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