Former Google Wallet Team Members Ready Their New Startup, Index, For Launch

Almost a year ago, an exodus on the Google Wallet team sent former members running away to companies like Square and other stealth projects. We wrote about one such stealth startup called Tappmo, co-created by the founding engineer and product lead on Google Wallet.

The company is inching closer to launch, and they’ve renamed themselves Index. The team includes seven of the original members of the Google Wallet team and no, they’re not relying on NFC or near-field communications.

While co-founders Marc Freed-Finnegan and Jonathan Wall aren’t sharing too many specifics about the user experience, Index will offer top tier merchants (as in the biggest 50 or so in the country) a software integration that plugs into their point-of-sale terminals. They will not require the use of new hardware.

On the consumer side, a person can walk into a store and either use an app from the retailer or from Index to interact with the product. From this, Index hopes to offer merchants better, more precise data about each and every one of their customers for highly personal in-store service. There will also be a basic integration for nudging customers to take actions like posting check-ins, liking the Facebook Page, or tweeting.

“What we’ve done is pretty clever in terms of the application,” Wall said. “We have a cross merchant application and we also have an SDK that merchants can embed into their own apps, so they can have a rich brand-specific experience. We think it’s the best of both worlds.”

Index is not sharing names of their retail partners yet, but they’re aiming at the 150 biggest retailers in the country, not small-to-medium-sized businesses.

They’re announcing a new retail advisory board this week that includes Whole Foods’ former senior vices president of purchasing, marketing and distribution Michael Bensacon, former Jamba Juice CEO and Burger King CMO Paul Clayton, AngelList’s Naval Ravikant and Michael Dadario, who worked for more than 25 years for home furnishing and fashion retailers like West Elm, Williams-Sonoma Inc., J.Crew and Banana Republic and Gap. Index is in the process of raising funding.