Marc Lore Founds a Futuristic City, Blueprints a 'New Economic Model'

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Sep. 7 2021, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

Even with Marc Lore's impressive net worth, the Jet.com co-founder will need many more investors to buy into his vision of Telosa—a $400 billion futuristic city to be built somewhere in the American desert.

As Lore explains on the Telosa website, the city—which aims to house 5 million residents across 150,000 acres in 40 years—will be based on Equitism, an “economic system in which citizens have a stake in the city’s land—as the city does better, the residents do better.”

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Lore formally announced the project on Sept. 1. He said, “Our vision is big,” he says on the site. “It’s not only about creating the city of Telosa itself—one that sets the standard for urban, big city living. It’s also about the people—creating opportunity and equality, celebrating diversity and inclusion, and establishing a sense of pride for where we live. In the end, if we get Equitism right, it could serve as the blueprint for a new economic model that the world can learn and benefit from.”

Lore built a nine-figure net worth through Jet.com and other ventures.

As his Telosa bio touts, Lore co-founded and served as the CEO of Quidsi, the parent company of e-commerce websites Diapers.com, Soap.com, and Wag.com. After Amazon bought Quidsi for $550 million in 2011, Lore co-founded Jet.com. After Walmart bought Jet.com for $3.3 billion in 2016, Lore served as the president and CEO of Walmart U.S. e-commerce. He left Walmart in January 2021 and told CNN Business that he would be focusing on his biggest passion project, a “city of the future” built from scratch.

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Lore is also a co-owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, alongside friend and New York Yankees alum Alex Rodriguez, with whom he’s collaborating on a venture capital firm called VCP. The 50-year-old is also an investor in aerospace company Archer and the at-home dining company Wonder.

Based on his ownership of more than 35,000 units of Walmart stock and his sales of more than $147 million of same, Wallmine estimates that Lore’s net worth as of January 19, 2021, was at least $335 million.

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Telosa will need $400 billion from investors, philanthropists, and other sources.

The Telosa website’s FAQ states the city will cost billions. “The project will be divided into multiple phases over decades. We anticipate that it will cost over $25 billion for the initial phase (1,500 acres, 50,000 residents) and over $400 billion for the city build out,” the site adds. “Funding will come from various sources including private investors, philanthropists, federal and state grants, and subsidies for economic development.”

Lore already has partners lined up, including Archer, real estate consultancy RCLCO, and engineering consultancy Buro Happold. He’s working with the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group. Lore has assembled a team of “urban planners, designers, historians, community engagement experts, economists, financial managers, scientists, and engineers” called the Junto Group.

On the Telosa site, Lore reveals the mission of the project. He said, “Whether we’re looking at the new economic model or the new city, we are doing all of this for a higher quality of life. Possibly the most important questions are these: How can we create a better world for our kids and grandkids? How much happier could people be? That’s what it’s all about.”

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