- VCs Keith Rabois and Jack Abraham are building a team for a new stealth startup in Miami.
- OpenStore will “provide instant liquidity to long-tail Shopify merchants,” Rabois tells Insider.
- The startup is hiring, but there’s a catch. “100% of the employees will be based in Miami,” said Rabois.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Founders Fund’s Keith Rabois and Atomic’s Jack Abraham are quietly building a team for a new stealth startup in Miami.
The two California-to-Florida transplants both moved to Miami during the pandemic year and have joined forces to create OpenStore, a company that will “provide instant liquidity to long-tail Shopify merchants,” Rabois tells Insider in an exclusive interview.
“So we will give them an offer to buy their business instantly, the same day,” he added. In exchange for the cash from the acquisition, those merchants will agree to move their e-commerce shops to OpenStore which will integrate and operate them all on a single platform.
Another way to describe the company is “Square meets OpenDoor.” In addition to being an investor at Founders Fund, Rabois is also the cofounder of OpenDoor, the online real estate company, and he’s former COO of digital payments processor Square.
“It’s like OpenDoor in the sense of reevaluating a house site and seeing instant offers. And it’s a little bit like Square in that we are making liquidity available to any business owner online instantly,” said Rabois.
So far, the company has not made any acquisitions yet because it is still early in the process of building the team. “There are some fundamental things we need to do first like assemble a team, have an office to work together and collaborate, and have a platform to actually run the business once we buy the businesses,” Rabois said.
“The easiest part will be actually finding the business,” he added, explaining that most of the companies they are eyeing don’t have the option to raise capital through financial institutions on their own. “We think it will be actually fairly easy to find Shopify merchants who are interested.”
Rabois also said the team currently has nine full-time employees and they are actively recruiting additional engineers as well as a lead designer. They also signed a lease in the trendy Wynwood neighborhood of Miami and are moving into the fourth floor of The Annex on Monday.
Keeping it in the family, Founders Fund and Atomic, who are also backing the new company, will be housed in the same building. The only condition for prospective employees, according to Rabois, is they have to be willing to relocate if they do not already live in the sunshine state.
“One hundred percent of the employees will be based in Miami,” he said.
The idea for OpenStore was planted in 2018 as serial entrepreneur and investor Abraham was studying the significant growth in non-Amazon e-commerce merchants and sales. It was an area he had been tracking for nearly a decade. In 2010, Abraham sold Milo, a startup that tracked real-time in-store inventory for merchants, to eBay for $75 million.
Abraham is also the founder and managing partner of Atomic, the venture studio that has churned out startup successes like the digital health startup Hims, the home construction builder Homebound and the AI-powered call center Replicant.
In January, after he relocated from San Francisco to Miami, Abraham and Rabois met to discuss the fundamental problems still facing merchants both online and offline.
The result was what formed the vision for OpenStore, according to Abraham. While part of its mission will be centered around liquidity, a longer-term vision is to bring the experience of spontaneous discovery back online. He gives the analogy of how you would walk into a bookstore to browse titles. You may walk out of the bookstore with the book you intended to buy, or discover a new author while you are in the store.
OpenStore’s ultimate plan is to one day connect merchants and customers into a single unified experience by bringing back some of that spontaneous shopping experience through access to data, information, and capital, said Abraham, adding that if the model works, OpenStore will be the first of many new startups Atomic plans to work on from their soon-to-open Miami office.
“When I moved out here right after the pandemic, many were skeptical but we’ve proven that Miami has all of the right ingredients to foster a healthy startup ecosystem and Atomic plans to aggressively build and scale here,” said Abraham.
To Find More Information, Go To Saubio Digital And Look Up Any Topic