Mar 17, 2021 - Economy

Scoop: Keith Rabois' new startup will buy up e-commerce businesses

An illustration of a shopping bag with a hand icon, representing the intersection of digital and real-world commerce.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Venture capitalists Keith Rabois has teamed up with Atomic's Jack Abraham as founders of OpenStore, a stealthy company that plans to acquire a number of small e-commerce businesses, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The last startup Rabois formed was Opendoor, a home buying and selling platform that was initially ridiculed by some top real estate industry execs. Then companies like Zillow copied the model and Opendoor eventually went public via SPAC, with a current market cap north of $15 billion.

Details: OpenStore will be based in Miami, where Rabois loudly relocated to last year from Silicon Valley, and already has hired around a half dozen employees.

  • It's being launched in partnership with venture studio Atomic, whose founder Jack Abraham is another recent Miami transplant.
  • Expect initial funding to come from both Atomic and Founders Fund, where Rabois is a general partner.

Shopping spree: OpenStore is part of a broader consolidation trend in e-commerce, as evidenced by a recent spate of Amazon seller rollups.

  • A source describe the company as "Opendoor for e-commerce businesses." But that appears to be something of a misnomer, as we hear that OpenStore doesn't plan to flip the companies it buys.
  • We are hearing consistently that it won't be just a carbon copy of other e-commerce consolidation plays, which effectively means more info to come.

Atomic and Founders Fund declined comment.

The bottom line: Rabois doesn't lack for ambition or bravado, and just upended the staid residential real estate market. So all eyes should be on what he does with digital retail.

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