Purse has announced ‘Instant’, a new product that aims to expand the appeal of its existing e-commerce marketplace while continuing its focus on Amazon shopping.
Launched in 2014, Purse now claims 32,000 users on its traditional ‘Name Your Discount’ marketplace, which matches individuals looking to buy bitcoin with a credit card and users willing to sell bitcoin in exchange for savings on Amazon purchases.
Purse co-founder Andrew Lee explained that Instant finds the company stepping in to play an active role on the formerly peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, purchasing Amazon gift cards from its market and holding a reserve of these assets for buyers who want items more quickly.
Drawing on a more familiar product as an example, Lee told CoinDesk:
“Our model was like Airbnb, person to person. This is like if Airbnb said let’s take the 100 most popular locations in San Francisco and just contract them out and offer them to consumers.”
In exchange for reduced savings, 5% as compared to as much as 20%, Lee said that Instant buyers will benefit from free shipping with Amazon Prime.
Lee went on to suggest the move was inspired by a need to improve the platform’s user experience.
“In terms of the delivery time, we didn’t have much of a guarantee,” Lee explained. “Sometimes it would be one-two days, other times it would be two weeks. With Purse Instant we’re taking out all those variables.”
Lee went on to suggest that he believes the move positions Purse to be at the forefront of using bitcoin as a means to penetrate the consumer deals industry while solving what he called the liquidity issues facing owners of Amazon gift cards.
“Long-term vision, we have a unique value proposition enabled by bitcoin,” Lee continued. “If you think of those people who hunt for promo codes, you can skip all that now by just having bitcoin.”
The move comes amid a recent flurry of experimentation from the Roger Ver and Bobby Lee-backed team, which launched a bid to take its model into the physical world with a bitcoin-only retail shop in February.