Ordinarily I don’t write about companies twice or money ever, but I like NearBuy Systems so much I hope you will indulge me for 400 words.
NearBuy Systems offers in-store hyperlocation services that can pinpoint the precise location of a customer in a store. That enables both “turn by turn” directions to a specific item on a shelf (within a couple of feet if you can believe it) as well as the delivery of information, promotions, and deals when consumers enter specific microsectors of a store. Further, it provides all this hyperlocating using the existing WiFi infrastructure in a venue – so without requiring the purchase of tens of thousands of dollars of new equipment.
Indoor hyperlocation is friggin’ tough to do. GPS relies on a line a vision between you and the satellites. When there is a roof over your head, that isn’t available. For indoor locations you need to triangulate locations from specific wifi stations in a venue. While there are lots of companies working in this space, the challenge is deriving a precise location (aisle 7, about 20 feet from the front end cap) in this manner.
The whizbang of NearBuy Systems is that they have developed technology to do this, and with the existing wifi infrastructure.
I think NearBuy is a game changer because it enables retailers (and through them brands) to provide real value within their doors – the sorts of value that can change a shopping experience and perhaps increase retailer loyalty. Further, it enables a store to triage the level of service provided to the most loyal customers. For example, if a consumer reported the need to ask a question through their phone, a loyal customer might get a real person sent to them, while a switcher might get a text. This inverts the dynamic for stores – instead of providing more services to the less loyal (for example, a regular visitor to Safeway # 1435 knows where most things are) they can reward loyalty and connect those consumers to information and promotions that they will value and appreciate.
NearBuy’s round was led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, and Metamorphic Ventures. The Funding will be used to accelerate the development and deployment of Nearbuy System’s software into major retail stores.