"Bodega is the world's first virtual goods marketplace, which bridges the gap between diverse social networks and creates a synthesized virtual community of buyers and sellers. Conventional marketplaces that were designed with real goods in mind attempt to drag social network users to their marketplace, but ultimately fail to connect users with similar needs. Bodega is different.
Bodega will fully integrate into social networks, delivering the market directly to users and allowing for cross-platform exchanges. By harmonizing a marketplace within social networks themselves, and its focus on offering an open and trustworthy medium for users to make transactions as simply and securely as possible, Bodega provides a safe and easy means for buyers and sellers to do business.
Exploding onto the scene with its Facebook application launch in October of 2009, where over 24,000 users signed up in less than 30 days, the demand for such a marketplace was immediately confirmed. With engineering underway for MySpace, iPhone, Bebo, and OpenSocial applications, Bodega is quickly becoming the premier virtual goods marketplace."
This is VC-speak for "it's a vending machine." If you want to know what three paragraphs get you $2.5m for vending machines, it's them.
The idea is to preempt what people might need, then use machine learning to constantly reassess the 100 most-needed items in that community.
Like a vending machine.
In a sorority house, for instance, young women might regularly purchase pretzels, makeup remover, and tampons.
...from a vending machine.
In most cases, Bodega doesn’t pay for the retail space, but pitches itself as an amenity or a convenience to property managers.
Like vending machines.
At gyms for instance, McDonald makes the case that having a Bodega stocked with power bars and protein powder might make the facility more attractive to members.
...which they're probably buying out of vending machines.
In dorms, a Bodega might be a more comprehensive alternative to a vending machine or a college-owned “honesty box” store.
"are you a vending machine?"
..."we might be!"
In apartments, a Bodega saves residents a trip to their local bodega.
"I could walk a block to get a beer, or I could go down to the lobby to get a coke. Thanks, vending machine!"
Within the current business model, Bodega does not have many fixed costs–besides installing the simple box itself–and makes money from the sale of each item.
Right - you could buy a vending machine... or come up with a custom box that uses "AI" and cameras and smart locks and shit that, by the way, can never be put somewhere someone can just walk up, smash the glass, and walk off with all your powerbars.
Which pretty much means it's in an attended lobby already.
Where the property owner can put an iPad with Square on it and charge you for powerbars.
And keep all the money.
...or buy a goddamn vending machine.
Over time, McDonald hopes to be able to create partnerships with other retailers to bring mini-versions of their stores to where they are needed. Home Depot might set up little Bodegas at construction sites with the 100 most-requested items there, Staples might set one up inside an office, or GNC might have mini-stores in gyms.
Oh please god I cannot wait for them to build a vending machine that holds quickcrete and 4x8 plywood sheets.