Online retailer Grand St. was formed to help customers find interesting new technology from the vast array of new hardware manufacturers out there. Now it’s taking its online store, with one new product each day, and making it available on mobile devices for Android users.
While we’ve seen significant growth in the number of software products and apps over the years, due to the lower cost of development, building actual physical things has also become easier than ever. With an influx of great hardware hitting the market, Grand St. wants to help surface some of the best. So it’s created a curated marketplace of goods its team loves, making one new item available every day.
With the launch of the Grand St. mobile app on the Google Play store today, the startup is looking to take advantage of the large — and growing — number of Android users out there. While the site itself is still in private beta for now, any Android user who downloads the app will be able to log in and purchase items from its online store.
Still, while Android has the lead in pure number of smartphones out there in the wild, we’ve heard over and over how users of the OS tend to lag behind iOS in terms of engagement or mobile commerce. Or at least, that’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook would like us to believe. So when going mobile, why go Android first?
For one thing, it’s the OS that they know best: 80 percent of the Grand St. team has Android devices, and they’ve all been developing apps for the Google-owned OS for the last four years. And many of its users already have Android devices, frequently making inquiries about devices and their availability or compatibility with the OS. In an email, Grand St. co-founder and CEO Amanda Peyton also praised the way Android has evolved over the last two years, saying that its hardware, store experience, and SDK have all seen “incredible improvements” in that time.
“We wanted to create a native commerce experience from scratch that was both beautiful and, from an interface perspective, something that felt different,” she wrote. “We support Android’s commitment to openness and wanted to build a native experience that for once catered to the Android community first.”
Based in New York, Grand St. has raised $1.3 million from investors that include First Round Capital, David Tisch, Gary Vaynerchuk, betaworks, Collaborative Fund, MESA+, Quotidian Ventures, and Undercurrent.