Italy-based startup ShopFully, which helps drive customers to physical retail stores with a digital alternative to the humble paper flyer, has raised a further €10 million. Backing comes from Highland Capital Partners Europe and brings the total raised over the last three years to €20 million. Previous backers include Principia SGR, 360 Capital Partners and Merifin.
Founded in 2010, ShopFully claims its service/app is used by over 13 million shoppers worldwide — the startup trades under the brand DoveConviene in Italy and ShopFully in the U.S., as well as various other names in Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia — to help them prepare and plan their purchases in physical stores. It combines a plethora of geo-located information including promotions, products, shops, opening times, and contacts of retailers and brands featured.
“We solve a huge problem for retailers,” ShopFully CEO Stefano Portu tells TechCrunch. “Circulars [flyers] are their most important media – with €30bn invested worldwide in over 25 countries to print and distribute them. It’s still the most effective way retailers have to drive people to physical stores. However, in today’s electronic world, obviously paper distribution is becoming increasingly ineffective. So, we provide retailers with a more efficient and measurable distribution platform to reach their customers and encourage them to shop.”
Available via the web and iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon and BlackBerry, the ShopFully app works as follows: After taking account of your location, you’re able to browse deals and relevant shopping information for all the shops around you. This includes categories such as grocery, consumer electronics, DIY, furniture, fashion, toys and pet food.
“Not just the information you’d usually get on circulars, but all the info you need to choose which store to visit (deals, location, live openings, contacts, directions). After choosing your next destination, you follow the app’s directions to the store,” explains Portu.
ShopFully says it already works with over 200 leading brands and retailers, and that it is having a measurable impact on ‘drive to store’; the company claims 88 percent of users go on to purchase offline and, perhaps more interestingly, 66 percent choose a different retailer after consulting ShopFully. It primarily makes money by getting a kick back from retailers who pay for geo-localized clicks and open and read circulars.
Meanwhile, I’m told that today’s additional funding will be used to grow the teams in each country and to expand into new territories. The aim is to reach a total of 10 national markets by end of 2016.