The Craigslist for refrigerators is starting to show signs of life.
The popular online marketplace has been making rapid progress in a new business that it is building to serve the needs of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
The company said Thursday that it was investing $1 billion to expand its digital marketplace and improve its service to its customers.
The investment in digital technology is a welcome move, said Richard Gorton, president and chief executive of Craigslist.
“This will be the largest single investment in this business by Craigslist since the company started,” Gortons statement said.
Craigslist, which was founded in 1998, said it was in the process of building its digital business.
Gort on Thursday said the company was moving toward the goal of building an internet-connected smart fridge for people with dementia.
Gresham, Calif.-based Craigslist said it is the largest e-commerce marketplace in the United States and that it had 3.5 million active listings as of Oct. 31.
The firm has about 9.6 million active members and nearly 12 million people using the site.
Craigslist is one of the fastest-growing online shopping destinations.
Its growth in the past year has been fueled by the surge in sales of mobile devices, the company said.
A lot of that is because of the new technology on the market.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth with mobile commerce,” Gresberg said.
“And so we’re seeing a lot more demand for smart refrigeration, as well as an increase in demand for that kind of functionality.”
The company has said it plans to spend about $100 million on digital and mobile marketing to support the new service.
The move is the latest step in a gradual shift by Craigslist to focus on the digital side of its business, said Gort.
Craigslist was one of more than a dozen tech companies to make a big investment in the digital space over the past three years, with more than $600 million in investments from Amazon and Google.
Greston said Craigslist’s goal is to make its online presence more useful to the wider community.
“If we can do it with a great service that can help people better understand what they need and what they can do to get there, I think that’s a good thing,” he said.
Gregory and his wife, Julie, are members of the California Alzheimer’s Association.
Gonton said his wife has been doing her best to help other people with Alzheimer, including taking a job as a cook for one of her co-workers at a grocery store.
The couple have also started a GoFundMe campaign to help fund the digital-first business.
The Gortsones plan to open their first digital store in January.
Gannett, a division of Time Warner Inc., also announced plans to invest in the online market.
It plans to buy the social media site Snap Inc. and invest in mobile-first companies, such as Google.
“It’s a very exciting time to be a technology company,” Gannets president and CEO, Joe S. Mazer, said in a statement.
“With a focus on online innovation, we are building an amazing ecosystem to drive growth in commerce, entertainment, health and more.”
In a blog post, Mazer said the Gortys would continue to focus their efforts on building the best service for its customers while also creating new opportunities for their business.
“The Gorties’ commitment to their clients and their families is as unwavering as ever,” he wrote.
The two Gortes also will join other business leaders who have joined the movement to focus more on digital commerce.
Last week, Google announced plans for a $1.9 billion investment to develop a mobile-centric business to help people with disabilities.
Google said the digital marketplace would serve the vast majority of its customers in a “mobile-first, connected world.”
The $1 trillion investment is part of Google’s effort to build a digital empire that includes search, video, social networking, email and more.
Google is also making moves into the home with its Google Home, a connected speaker that can control all sorts of devices from thermostats to smart locks.