Softbank has invested $240 million in Brandless.com, a website that sells everything from toothpaste to peanut butter to plates for $3 a piece, according to Bloomberg.
It’s a bet that the company can survive despite the looming threat of Amazon. And as Bloomberg notes, some resellers are already peddling some of Brandless’s goods on the Amazon marketplace, albeit for a higher price.
This is another case of the deep pockets battling against Amazon on various fronts worldwide. In India, for example, there’s Flipkart, which is backed by a $16 billion investment from Walmart. In the U.S., there’s also Boxed, which according to Crunchbase has raised about $133 million and aims to be an online Costco for millennials. There are also plenty of smaller upstarts. Whether they are ultimately able to survive will be worth watching.