Tecca, Best Buy's Secret Weapon Against Competition

On the surface, Tecca looks like a pretty cool service. You download an app, browse it for devices you’re looking at in store, and figure out if the price is right. How? By checking out online prices, most notably the prices available from Best Buy, one of the investors in Fuse Capital, creator of Tecca. Even if the app brings up 50 other prices from 50 other stores, the assumption here is that BB has the best price.

Best Buy is already in the cat bird seat when it comes to electronics purchases. Companies that support “lowest price” challenges (we visit P.C. Richards in New York for appliances, for example) are beholden to their low prices and although they’re often draconian when it comes to checking your wallet on the way out the door. But they’re the only game in town and services like Tecca, even if they don’t immediately bring up Best Buy pricing, is an effort to solidify that concept before any upstarts come into the market.

The app will be available on Android and iPhone.

I don’t think the end of big box electronics shops is nigh. In fact, Apple Stores are doing great traffic and Best Buy and places like Target and Wal-Mart, with their limited electronics selection and surly employees, are probably not going to force their CEOs to eat cat food to survive. I’m instead worried about smaller chains in major cities – P.C. Richards, for example – being smashed under the weight of these behemoths. God wants us to be capitalists, but inherent in capitalism is the idea of competition.

Anyway, Tecca should launch soon and I doubt anyone will use it. After all, you just have to type the model number into Google and you’ll get hundreds if not thousands of strongly-held opinions on any product.

Introducing Tecca – Next-Generation Personal Electronics Shopping and Information Service

Tecca combines best of content, commerce and community for today’s personal technology needs – First phase now available as free mobile app

SANTA MONICA, CA, September 22, 2010 — Tecca, a newly-launched company with backing from the digital media fund established by Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) and Fuse Capital, today unveiled the Tecca personal electronics shopping and information service. Tecca combines comprehensive product information, pricing, and knowledge, with direct shopping access to the top seller-rated online electronics retailers in a single digital marketplace. The Tecca mobile app is available today via the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Android Market, with mobile web, PC, and tablet versions set to launch later this fall.

“The speed at which technology evolves affects everyone; we repeatedly hear that constant innovation is overwhelming for consumers, who struggle to keep pace,” said Ross Levinsohn, chairman, Tecca, and managing director, Fuse Capital. “Our goal with Tecca is simple: help inspire consumers to make confident decisions about personal technology and electronics, whether they’re purchasing new products or making the most of the devices they already own. Tecca helps consumers navigate our increasingly complicated and connected world through a simple, free ‘virtual concierge.’ From a strategic partnership perspective, Tecca is a testament to the vision we share with Best Buy to provide new, powerful, and socially-connected ways to help improve the way consumers buy, manage and use their own personal technology.”

By curating product information, pricing, and knowledge from the top-rated online retailers and publishers and providing original content from its own internal editorial team, Tecca helps consumers understand new technology, products and services; compare features, functions and pricing; purchase through trusted retailers; and learn ways to make the most of the technology they already own. With the mobile app, users can browse or search products, or simply scan the barcode, and Tecca will instantly recognize the product and provide pricing and information.

“Thanks to smart phones, mobile tech, and social commerce, consumers have more opportunities than ever to bridge their physical and digital shopping experiences,” said Christine Webster Moore, vice president, new business customer solutions group, Best Buy. “Tecca offers the online electronics marketplace a fresh perspective, one that we think will help empower consumers as their lives become more connected than ever. It’s also a great example of our commitment at Best Buy to look ahead and see where technology is going next in consumers’ lives.”

This first installment of the Tecca service is focused on three key themes:
. Product Discovery – Search, browse, scan and tag thousands of products
. Product Research – Dig in with user reviews, image galleries and product specs
. Product Marketplace – Compare prices and buy from top seller rated merchants

The launch of the mobile app is the first step in a comprehensive product rollout, which will include a broader suite of services; over time, Tecca will offer full solutions for everyday personal technology wants and needs, and the range of information covering the lifecycle of product ownership, including resale and recycling options for old or obsolete technology.

Incubated by Fuse Capital, Tecca is led by a team of industry veterans with experience from a variety of companies, including Apple, Sony, Fox, NBCi, AOL, Netscape, Engadget, Mashable, MobiTV and Flixster/RottenTomatoes. Levinsohn currently serves as chairman of Tecca, and fellow Fuse partner, Mickie Rosen, serves as CEO. Both Levinsohn and Rosen sit on the Tecca board of directors, while continuing to source new investments and managing their existing portfolio at Fuse Capital.