Marc Lore is plotting his next thing.
Less than a year after the former CEO of Diapers.com parent company, Quidsi, left Amazon along with his co-founder Vinit Bharara, he has spoken with investors about raising funds for a new digital commerce startup, according to multiple people familiar with his plans.
These people say Lore is interested in raising as much as $50 million to get his new company off the ground. One source said that number could go higher.
As Fortune’s Erin Griffith reported earlier this week, the new company is currently being called Jet.
What kind of commerce company is Lore building? He is apparently keeping many details close to the vest, though one source said Lore’s startup is geared toward mobile devices and may focus on appealing to the type of shoppers who frequent warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club.
Lore declined to comment.
People who’ve spoken to Lore believe he’s determined to build a giant e-commerce company that remains independent. He and Bharara agreed in 2010 to sell Quidsi, which also operated Soap.com, to Amazon for about $540 million. But the deal only came together after Amazon tried to crush the competitor by repeatedly dropping prices to beat Diapers.com, according to Brad Stone’s great book “The Everything Store.”
Stone also describes how, before the acquisition, Amazon announced the launch of a competitive service while Lore and Bharara were visiting Amazon so their employees wouldn’t be able to reach them to figure out how best to react.
That context will add an extra dose of intrigue as the industry watches to see if Lore will once again build a company to compete with Amazon. We’ll all likely have to wait a little while longer to see what exactly Jet will be. Jet.com currently says “Coming – 2015.”
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