There’s nothing like shopping online when it comes to finding the lowest price for a consumer product, but when it comes to actually getting something now, online obviously falls far short of driving down to your local retail store. Milo is a local shopping engine that’s looking to help you get the best of both worlds: it lets you search for goods online, and then uses product inventories of the retail stores near you to tell you where you can go buy it. Today the site is announcing that it has reached its 1 millionth user. It’s also exiting beta — it’s been open to the public for a while now, but for its “full” launch Milo is also unveiling some new features.
Milo has slipped under our radar until now, but it’s been around for two years. It recently raised a $4 million funding round with participation from some of Silicon Valley’s most well known investors, including True Ventures, Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, and Mint.com’s Aaron Patzer (this is his first investment).
Alongside the full launch of the site, Milo is releasing a new Kayak-inspired search interface that shows you results in real-time as local retailer inventories are queried. It looks nice (albeit almost exactly like Kayak), allowing you to use sliders to filter products by price and rating. You can also use checkboxes to specify which retailers you’d like to search through.
Of course, Milo just got some major competition: Google just announced that it would start offering inventory counts for local stores beginning in Q1 of next year. CEO Jack Abraham acknowledges that Milo will directly compete with this, but points out a few reasons why he thinks Milo is still in a good position. For one, the site now has partnerships with thirty retailers. Google has only announced two (Sears and Best Buy). I don’t think that advantage will hold up for long, as Google obviously has more partnerships in the works. But it is true that Google isn’t always successful when it tries to move into new verticals with existing leaders — just look at what happened between YouTube and Google Video. So Milo still has a chance, but it’s going to have to move quickly to increase its visibility before the Google goliath starts to gain momentum here.
Here’s a full list of Milo’s investors:
*True Ventures (Jon Callaghan)
*Magid Abraham (comscore)
*Russ Fradin (adify)