The History of Ecommerce in New York City in One Interactive Map BY REZA CHOWDHURY

alleywatch (source) :


Since the settlement of New York in the 17th century, the city’s economy has been rooted in commerce. In fact, the thriving beaver population in the region and the immense demand for beaver pelts in Europe led to the creation of the trading colonies in the New World. Over the last 400+ years, trade has moved on from beaver pelts but the city has remained the epicenter for commerce, transcending across various industries and goods.

I just want to see the map!!!

The advent of the internet has fueled a new form of commerce in the city – ecommerce. The city is home to a concentrated population that has a deep domain expertise in retail; more so than any other city in the world. In a city where access is everything, the city’s burgeoning population wants access to anything on demand or delivered to their doors. These two factors coupled together provide a fertile ground for ecommerce startups and the city is home to a number of category-leading commerce ventures.

We partnered with our friends at Primary Venture Partners, the city’s leading early stage firm focused on ecommerce, to chronicle the history of NextGen Commerce in the city over the last 30+ years from a pioneering generation of companies to today’s innovative new entrants. The culmination of our work has led to the creation of the first-of-its-kind interactive infographic map documenting the genealogy of the NextGen Commerce universe in the city.

The map itself contains 150+ companies and 300+ founders that have built their ecommerce businesses in New York. Beyond highlighting these companies, one of the distinct qualities of the map is that it shows the interconnected nature by showcasing commonalities in terms of founders and employees who have gone to found new companies. The map is inspired by the city’s subway map with separate lines tracing lineages from one generation to the next.

I welcome you to spend some time interacting with the map, playing around with its various features, and learning about the amazing companies in New York that are driving commerce. Please feel free to send us feedback on the map at

Founder’s note: Special thanks to Naomi Newman at Primary Venture Partners who spearheaded this project and worked tirelessly to ensure that the map accurately represents the NextGen Commerce landscape in New York. Also, thanks goes to the Setka team that handled all the technical aspects of building a project of this magnitude. Lastly, thanks goes to the all the ecommerce founders whose work has created a thriving ecosystem in New York, which makes a map like this possible.


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