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b8ta, inc.
Industry Retail
Founded December 2015; 2 years ago (2015-12)
Founders Vibhu Norby, William Mintun, Phillip Raub
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Number of locations
Standalone: 12
Lowe's SmartSpot: 70
Macy's: 1
Website b8ta.com

b8ta is retail-as-a-service company with a chain of retail stores which serve as presentation centers for consumer electronics and other innovative products. The company operates 12 standalone locations, 70 store-within-a-store locations inside of Lowe's and a location inside of Macy's Herald Square. b8ta was founded in 2015 by Vibhu Norby, William Mintun and Phillip Raub.[1] The first location opened in Palo Alto during December 2015.[2] Companies can pay to rent out space for their product to be displayed inside the locations, along with a tablet that each brand customizes with software.[3] All of the products in stores are on display out-of-the-box and can be touched and demoed. The company also sells the products directly to consumers. Store employees, which the company calls "b8ta testers", assist customers with demos and product information which is taught to them by companies with products on display. The Lowe's SmartSpot locations are smaller store within a store locations which allow customers to interact with smart home products.[4]

Built by b8ta, an additional product offering within b8ta's retail-as-a-service model, was launched in April 2018 to provide businesses with a platform to open up a brick and motor locations.[5]


In September 2016, b8ta raised a $7 million Series A round of funding.[6] In June 2018, b8ta closed a $19 million Series B round led by Macy’s, with participation from Sound Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Capitaland, Graphene Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Plug and Play Ventures. The round brought b8ta’s total funding to $39 million.[7]

Macy's acquired a minority share in b8ta during June 2018.[8]


  1. ^ Findling, Deborah (1 October 2017). "b8ta, a tech retailer, wants to get consumers excited about retail by letting them try gadgets before they buy". CNBC. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  2. ^ McDowell, Maghan (22 September 2017). "B8ta makes "early adopters" out of everyone". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  3. ^ Halzack, Sarah (17 December 2015). "B8ta, the new gadget store that is a bet by a Silicon Valley company on brick-and-mortar shopping". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  4. ^ Hulfish, Garrett (10 November 2017). "Lowe's seeks to educate customers about smart home products with new mini stores". Digital Trends. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  5. ^ Keyes, Daniel (12 April 2018). "This startup just launched a new platform to help digital-focused brands build an in-store presence". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  6. ^ Rose Dickey, Megan (28 September 2016). "b8ta, a physical store for tech gadgets, raises $7 million Series A round". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  7. ^ Rose Dickey, Megan (26 June 2018). "b8ta raises $19 million Series B led by Macy's". TechCrunch. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Macy's invests in tech startup b8ta". USA Today. 13 June 2018. Retrieved 23 June 2018.