Bolt, a service that provides "an optimized checkout experience," recently secured $68 million in a Series B funding round led by Activant Capital and Tribe Capital. In addition, Allbirds, Revolve, Jet.com and Bombas execs also took part in the round, according to a company blog post. The latest funding round brings Bolt's total funds raised to $90 million.
The funds will go toward growing its engineering team, improving its enterprise offerings for large retailers, building new shopping features and expanding internationally, Bolt said. The platform is integrated with shopping cart tools like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and it'll eventually add PayPal to its roster, according to a Crunchbase report.
Bolt noted that it aims to "level the playing field by giving everyone who's not Amazon that same level of sophistication without any technical resources needed on their end."
Besides adding PayPal and raising significant capital, Bolt also noted that its staff has grown from 10 to 125 people and it has added retailers like DITA Eyewear, HUF Worldwide and Polywood to the platform, signaling the startup's growth.
The company acknowledged that Amazon currently has a stronghold over American online retail, but said that the rest of the industry has a long way to go to catch up. Plus, research from IoT and mobile device management firm SOTI has shown that the majority of shoppers prefer retail self-service technologies, such as self-checkout, over interacting with store associates.
That shift in consumer preference toward tools like self-checkout explains why retailers like Sam's Club, Macy's and Five Below are testing alternative point-of-sale technologies. Bolt appears to be capitalizing on this trend while also offering other useful features like fraud detection. Several other startups have jumped in to offer technological capabilities to retailers trying to compete with Amazon, including Standard Cognition and Grabango, which offer various tools for faster checkout, rivaling store concepts like Amazon Go.