London-based technology firm NearSt has bagged £2m of fresh investment for its shopping technology, in a round led by the Grosvenor Group.
London-based technology firm NearSt has bagged £2m of fresh investment for its local shopping technology, in a round led by the Grosvenor Group, i can reveal.
What exactly does the tech do?
NearSt, founded in 2015 by Max Kreijn and Nick Brackenbury, allows people searching for products online to see where they are stocked in nearby shops. Shops install software that connects to their point of sale or inventory system so that stock shows up in search results. The retailer pays a one-time connection fee of £399.
The company partnered with Google in 2018 and also recently started working with Facebook.
Why did it start?
Mr Kreijn had a literal lightbulb moment when searching for a replacement bulb online. He wondered why he couldn’t find out which of his local shops had one that he could go and buy straight away.
He and Mr Brackenbury had worked together developing digital experiences for major brands before, so together they set off cycling Boris Bikes around London, visiting shops, to work out why there was no solution to this problem already, until they came up with the NearSt prototype.
So who’s backing them?
This latest round follows another £2m raise in February and brings in finance from property firm Grosvenor Group, known for its large estate in central London which includes Grosvenor Square and Mount Street. It marks the first time the group has invested directly in the tech sector.
Grosvenor’s managing director of digital innovation, Ian Mair, said: “We have already seen the benefits of NearSt on Grosvenor’s London Estate and as part of our wider innovation agenda across the Grosvenor Group, we will look to roll this out to other retailers in the locations that we operate”.
True Global, YYX Capital, and Moscar Capital also took part in the raise. In total since its inception, NearSt has now raised £5m.
The startup has seen a tripling in demand from shoppers seeking out local product availability in 2020, as more of us look to local shops to fulfill our everyday needs. “Online shopping is often positioned as the death knell for the high street – we think it’s far from this, and will rather be the foundation of a vibrant and healthy future for brick-and-mortar shops,” says Mr Brackenbury.
What will they do with the money?
The funds will be used to grow the sales team and launch the technology internationally.
Originally Published at i News