If you were around Silicon Alley in the late 90s, you will remember Kozmo.com, the service with the orange messenger bags and uniforms that would deliver movies, snacks, and other stuff within an hour.
Photo by Jared Kim
Kozmo.com was a darling of the dot-com era – started in 1997 by Joseph Park and Yong Kang, the company raising more than $280 million in venture capital funding and from partnerships with big companies, including Starbucks and Amazon.com.
At their peak, Kozmo.com had 4,000 employees in 11 cities and was heading for an IPO.
But then the stock market collapsed in 2000. They ceased operations a year later.
E-Dreams is a fascinating documentary about the rise and fall of Kozmo.com, and it’s currently showing on Netflix.
It’s not only a neat time capsule of that era, but E-Dreams is also a good cautionary tale of hubris in entrepreneurs.
I was chatting on Twitter with Wonsuk Chin, Producer of E-Dreams, about the recently launched Amazon Prime Now, which somewhat resembles the Kozmo.com model.
— Wonsuk Chin (???) (@wonsuk) November 3, 2015
In a “where are they now” twist, the former Kozmo.com CTO, Chris Siragusa, started up a company called Max Delivery in 2005 to provide one-hour grocery delivery in NYC. He also later resurrected the Urban Fetch brand, which was the main competitor to Kozmo.com.