Two former Google employees are looking to make a profit by intersecting the concepts behind corner stores and vending machines.
Bodega, the New York term which references corner stores is a start-up company by Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan. Consumers would be able to order items such as ibuprofen, granola bars, snacks and other products through an app and pick them up from a nearby kiosk that will only be a few feet away from users’ locations. The kiosks would be installed in gyms, dorms and apartment buildings because that extra two feet to the actual corner store is far too burdensome.
McDonald and Rajan have raised 2.5 million dollars to invest in their company. Not only are people underwhelmed by the lack of originality behind the start-up, they’re disgusted by the livelihoods it may threaten. If successful, startup would become yet another mainstream enterprise which would threaten working-class local business owners. The idea behind Bodega hasn’t really been sitting well with anyone.
The real kicker in this whole venture is that its name is not only culturally appropriated (bodega is a Spanish term) but its named after the exact stores they may be putting out of business. And it’s logo will be a Bodega cat — because you had to see that coming.
– Founded by two ex-Googlers
– Stated business model: make local, immigrant-owned businesses obsolete
– Audacity to name it "Bodega"
– Ew pic.twitter.com/gQD1IpGse0
— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) September 13, 2017
Then to actually NAME it "Bodega" after the exact thing they're trying to gentrify & put out of business? Wow. Such disrespect
— Rhaenyra Was Robbed (@ASamantha) September 13, 2017
I would eat off the floor of the sketchiest bodega in NYC before I bought something from some tech dipshit's cabinet.
— 🎉 Fall Holiday Bryan 🎉 (@StuckInTheIV) September 13, 2017
Weird that they're calling this heinous vending machine "Bodega" and not "Gentrification Box" https://t.co/xPCozclRRD
— Tristan Cooper (@TristanACooper) September 13, 2017
Thus far, Bodega plans to place 50 of its machines throughout the West Coast.