DoorDash Partners With b8ta For On-Demand Tech Gadget Delivery

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DoorDash, known for its on-demand food delivery service, has partnered with newly-launched retail store b8ta. b8ta, founded by four former Nest alums, opened earlier this month in Palo Alto to sell trendy tech gadgets and offer hands-on experiences with those products to customers before they buy them. b8ta sells gadgets like the Gi Flybike, a folding electric bicycle, and Thync, a wearable for achieving mindfulness and boosting energy. Through the partnership with DoorDash, customers in Palo Alto and certain parts of Menlo Park will be able to order b8ta products for on-demand delivery starting today through December 31.

“b8ta is all about user experience—and what could help improve the holiday shopping experience for b8ta visitors? Not having to carry, load, and unload heavy shopping bags from store to home,” b8ta CEO Vibhu Norby said in a statement. “We thought it would add to the experience of shopping at b8ta if local visitors could get their technology gifts delivered after trying them in-person.”

While this is the first time DoorDash has partnered with a retailer to deliver consumer tech products, it’s not the first time DoorDash has branched out of traditional restaurant food delivery. Back in September, DoorDash partnered with 7-Eleven to deliver items from the convenience store to customers.

“While our focus is still on restaurant delivery, we regularly test partnerships with retailers and other local merchants outside of the food space, both on a national level and on a market by market basis,” a DoorDash spokesperson told TechCrunch via email. “For example we announced a national partnership with 7-Eleven earlier this year to deliver convenience items, and local markets have experimented with delivery of costumes for Halloween, flowers for Valentines Day, etc.”

So, for now, DoorDash’s “focus” is on restaurant delivery, but its partnership with b8ta is clearly part of its overall strategy to expand and, ultimately, compete with Postmates.

“We don’t consider ourselves a food-delivery company, but a tech and logistics company that just happens to deal in food,” DoorDash co-founder and chief product officer Stanley Tang told TechCrunch last year, after raising $17.3 million from Sequoia Capital. “We’re building out the technology and infrastructure to become a super reliant and efficient delivery network.”

Still, DoorDash is an interesting choice for a partner, given that it was recently hit with lawsuit from In-N-Out. Also, a DoorDash training video recently leaked showing that the company tells its delivery people to do certain things that could potentially be misleading to businesses and customers, Business Insider reported in November.

Anyway, b8ta’s holiday gift delivery via DoorDash will have a flat fee of $5.99. In order to search b8ta’s inventory and take advantage of the delivery, you’ll have to sign up with DoorDash.