Additional investors in the round include Greycroft Partners, SV Angel, Forerunner Ventures, Ralph Mack, Dave Tisch, Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn, and Mass Relevance CEO Sam Decker.
Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Wesley Barrow was formerly the director of Eastern sales for Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforce last year. Barrow told me that he’s experiencing a bit of déjà vu from the early days of Buddy, because “omni channel retail” (i.e., retail that tries to bridge the online and offline worlds) is at the same stage now as social marketing was a few years ago: “It’s very much still like the Wild West.”
And just as Buddy Media became one of the first calls that a big company made when it was looking to get into social, Barrow is hoping to put Nomi at the top of the list for big retailers. The key to the company’s approach, he said, is an emphasis on CRM-style profiles of each customer and their activity on the web, on mobile, and in-store. That data is out there already and often collected by retailers, so Nomi just needs “layer on” its own view of the existing “passive data”.
CRM is obviously a big strength at Salesforce, but Barrow said the company never had a big retail customer base, because “retailers don’t know who their customers are.” For example, he said that while retailers may know every time you buy something in-store, they don’t know how many times you walked in and left without buying something, or walked by the front of the store without going on. With mobile location data, that’s something they can start to track. He also suggested this data could become a powerful way to personalize mobile loyalty programs.
“In a broad form, what we’re trying to do is really unite online and off into one core view,” Barrow said. “Once you get that core view, you can look at it from a bunch of different angles.”
Nomi’s founders also include CEO Marc Ferrentino (past roles include chief technical architect at Salesforce.com) and President Corey Capasso (co-founder of Spinback, which was acquired by Buddy Media). Barrow said the company was founded in August and is currently working on pilot programs with several major retailers.
First Round Capital is a venture capital firm that primarily makes early round investments. They look to play an active role in the operations of most the companies they invest in.