The technology start-up Bodega launched by two former Google employees aims to replace convenience stores with pantry boxes full of essentials.The
The technology start-up Bodega launched by two former Google employees aims to replace convenience stores with pantry boxes full of essentials.
The company`s idea is to place a bunch of non-perishable goods in convenient places so that customers can skip the walk to the nearest store. However, the company`s intention to replace corner shops or so-called “bodegas” led to a wave of negative comments on Twitter.
Prior to its launch, Silicon Valley investors gave $2.5 million in a financing round led by First Round Capital and Homebrew Ventures, according to reports by the Guardian (guardian.com), Tech Crunch (techcrunch.com) and Business Insider (businessinsider.com), among other online media.
Paul McDonald, Co-founder and a former Googler published an apology statement that addresses the rage on social media.
“So, to get to the issues:
Are we trying to put corner stores out of business?
Definitely not. Challenging the urban corner store is not and has never been our goal.”, as he explained.
“We want to bring commerce to places where commerce currently doesn’t exist. Rather than take away jobs, we hope Bodega will help create them. We see a future where anyone can own and operate a Bodega — delivering relevant items and a great retail experience to places no corner store would ever open.”, as he added.
The response came after the name Bodega was ridiculed on the social networks. The term is widely associated with corner stores that are usually run by immigrants in the US, as the Guardian reported.
“It’s sacrilegious to use that name, and we’re going to do whatever we need to do to fight this.”, said Frank Garcia, chair of the New York State Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, in an interview with the Guardian.
“It was devastating to find out … and it’s not fair to the local bodegas now that don’t have the angel investors that these guys have.”, as he added.
“The name Bodega sparked a wave of criticism on social media far beyond what we ever imagined. When we first came up with the idea to call the company Bodega we recognized that there was a risk of it being interpreted as misappropriation.”, as the company`s blog post pointed out.
It is to be seen how the criticism will impact the company`s business.