b8ta is a software-powered retailer designed to help people discover, experience, and learn about the latest technology products. The company recently announced a $7 Million series A funding round, and plans to expand its software-powered store model nationally. Below is our interview with Phillip Raub, Founder & CMO at b8ta:
Q: What is b8ta? Could you tell us b8ta’s startup story?
A: b8ta is a software-powered retailer designed to improve the customer and maker experience. We help people discover, experience, and learn about innovative products while empowering makers with a retail-as-a-service model that puts them in control. To do this, we’ve created the tools to make selling products in-store fast and scalable for makers while at the same time interactive and engaging for customers.
Q: Could you tell us something more about your store, how is it different than the other stores?
A: Our stores are designed for discovery. There’s always something new to discover at b8ta. We bring people the latest and most innovative products, some that they didn’t know were on the market.
b8ta allows people to experience new tech first hand. Each store is uniquely designed to encourage hands-on interaction with products. We display every product out of the box to enable tactile experience. People don’t just see our products, they can touch them, try them, and ask our b8ta testers for demos.
People can learn about brand-new tech from experts. Our stores are staffed with knowledgeable people that aim to educate people on technologies they’ve maybe never seen before. At b8ta, our staff are trained to help every visitor discover new products and understand how they work.
Q: What’s the best thing about b8ta that people might not know about?
A: About 20 percent of our products are exclusive to b8ta stores, meaning you can’t see them anywhere else in the world.
Q: You’ve recently announced a $7 million series A funding round; what are your plans?
A: These funds will be used to expand our software-powered store model nationally, opening the first wave of stores in Santa Monica and Seattle.
We tested the waters in Silicon Valley and had record response rates as both consumers and makers were intrigued by our out-of-the-box and retail-as-a-service models.
Q: Could you please give us more insights into b8ta’s products?
A: The process of introducing new products at b8ta starts with a simple online sign-up process. Then we conduct a thorough evaluation of the product and the company. The process is designed to bring in a variety of innovative products, but ensure the quality stays high over time. We aim to introduce 8–10 new products a month, so that every time people come in, they discover something new.
Q: How would you convince the reader to come to your store and try your products?
A: At b8ta, there’s always something new. Our mission is to help people discover, experience, and learn about the latest technology products first hand. To live up to our mission, we give customers access to the most innovative products, regardless of the makers’ and manufacturers’ marketing budgets, then showcase them out of the box and staff our stores with knowledgeable people.Activate Social Media: