Seattle startup weighs its own success as Amazon releases similar smart shelf – GeekWire

Seattle startup weighs its own success as Amazon releases similar smart shelf – GeekWire

Seattle startup weighs its own success as Amazon releases similar smart shelf – GeekWire

Seattle-based Bottomless has been selling a smart scale intended to automatically order fresh coffee as bags of beans get depleted. (Bottomless Photo)

A small Seattle startup that created a product to help people replenish their fresh coffee supply feels validated by a new Amazon product intended to help people stock up on thousands of items.

Bottomless is a 4-year-old company which designed its internet-connected smart scale to determine when customers are running low on coffee beans and automatically order more through an online marketplace featuring independent roasters from across the country.

Amazon released its own WiFi-enabled Dash Smart Shelf at the end of October, selling the product to home and business customers needing to stay on top of their supplies of everything from pet food to printer paper.

Bottomless co-founder Liana Herrera, who started the company with her husband Michael Mayer, called the Dash Shelf a “huge validation.”

“A brand new idea always seems unlikely to many people. Having Amazon follow us into this market is clear proof that there’s something here,” Herrera said. “The market size of repeat purchases for consumers is so large that there is no risk of saturation before Bottomless can reach a very large scale.

Bottomless co-founders Michael Mayer and Liana Herrera. (Bottomless Photo)

Bottomless has raised more than $2 million from investors including Craft Ventures, Pioneer Fund, Liquid2 Ventures and Y Combinator, and it’s generating almost $2 million in coffee sales annually. The startup, which has a remote, international team of nine, is operationally profitable and re-investing heavily in growth, increasing coffee sales roughly 240x over the last 36 months.

PREVIOUSLY: Hands on with Bottomless Coffee: Can the internet really keep refilling a caffeine addict’s endless cup?

Bottomless makes significant revenue from memberships. Its $5.99-per-month subscription includes the scale, shipping and 10% off on every bag of coffee beans. It offers more than 500 products from more than 30 roasters and has attracted 6,600 customers, according to Herrera.

Amazon is selling its Dash Shelf for $19.99. It’s the latest evolution of the tech giant’s Dash program, in which the Dash Replenishment Service uses sensors in various devices to spur orders for more product. Amazon previously discontinued sales of its physical Amazon Dash Buttons, which let people order new supplies by pressing them.

As Amazon follows Bottomless with its hardware offering, Bottomless will follow the tech giant in opening up its service beyond coffee.

“We definitely will be building a marketplace for every type of product,” Herrera said. “For now, we’re limiting the service to coffee so we can keep our focus narrow and make sure the product is amazing. We believe we can grow many times over before we saturate the market for automatic coffee delivery.”

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