Nearbuy Systems, the maker of indoor positioning solutions, announced today that it has raised $1 million in seed funding. The seed round was led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, Innovation Endeavors, and Metamorphic Ventures. The funding will be used to bring Nearbuy’s technology to retail stores across the U.S.
Just as startups like ZuluTime and Shopkick are finding different ways to innovate in the in-store loyalty and advertising space, Nearbuy, too is going after the “holy grail” of in-store marketing: In-store consumer location. Because GPS tends not to be able to locate you indoors — and the indoor systems that do exist tend not to be precise — Nearbuy has developed a refined WiFi technology that can locate a customer in the store within 3 feet.
With advanced positioning, retailers can offer consumers discounts, coupons, and deals in realtime as they wander through the aisles, making those tricky purchasing decisions. If a consumer is standing in the sporting goods section, the business can use Nearbuy’s technological conduit to serve them with a discount on kayaks, and so on. But, beyond targeted marketing, solutions like Nearbuy’s can offer consumers in-store navigation (which will be great for places like Ikea and Home Depot), a concierge “Help” button, etc. all through a simple opt-in WiFi setup.
And, for businesses, Nearbuy’s LocalEyes solution can integrate with existing infrastructures already in place, create enhanced mobile commerce apps, and using its micro-location data, can glean valuable shopping trends and behavior, and optimize time-consuming stuff like warehouse management and store set-ups.
While it may be slightly off-putting, the fact is that humans spend 87 percent of their time indoors, and, as mobile technology evolves, the devices in our pockets (along with complementary solutions) are becoming more and more adept at tracking our movements. It makes the security and privacy-conscious a little nervous, which is why it’s great to hear that these technologies are opt-in and come with advanced security mechanisms. That being said, these precise positioning systems have the potential to be a goldmine for retailers and advertisers, and can offer some nifty enhancements to the consumer’s shopping experience.
“We just want to make the shopping experience better for everyone”, says Nearbuy Founder and CEO Bryan Wargo. As long as they don’t sell my location data to the highest bidder, I’m buying.
For more on Nearbuy Systems, check out the video below: