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Retail software company Index has secured $7 million in a Series A round led by Innovation Endeavors, Khosla Ventures, AIMCo and 819 Capital.
Founded by former Google Wallet executives Marc Freed-Finnegan and Jonathan Wall, Index was developed to help retailers recognize their customers across channels to deliver personalization that builds loyalty and strengthens customer relationships. The company is setting its sights on helping traditional brick-and-mortar retailers reconcile customer experiences across channels and realize the potential of digital and mobile.
“When customers opt to share their preferences, it’s critical that retailers remember those preferences and going forward, personalize their experience across every channel,” said Freed-Finnegan. “Not surprisingly, customers who are recognized and rewarded by retailers are more loyal, but for many retailers, it’s a challenge to tailor communication to individual customers.”
Index’s software-only solution ties directly into a retailer’s point-of-sale and provides a real-time connection that links in-store, online, mobile and social engagement to provide a unified experience. For customers who opt-in, retailers can deliver personalized service -- much like what consumers expect when they log in online.
“The Index team is uniquely positioned to help retailers measure and improve their marketing impact,” says Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and founding partner at Innovation Endeavors. “Google Wallet was an early beneficiary of the founders' technical know-how and critical execution skills. Now other retailers can benefit, too.”
At its core, Index helps brick-and-mortar retailers once again leverage their physical stores as a competitive differentiator. “By helping retailers to put customer preferences front and center with integrated loyalty and promotion programs, Index enables retailers to deliver an outstanding, personalized experience for each customer,” said Wall.
Investor Vinod Khosla added: “Index gives brick-and-mortar retailers an Amazon-like toolbox for managing customer data and relationships. It’s the exact solution sophisticated retailers need to stay competitive and this is the perfect team to deliver it.”
To tackle the challenge and develop its solution, Index has attracted top technical and retail talent. The product development team brings together technical leadership from Google’s big data efforts and business leadership that partnered with retailers at Apple, ran loyalty solutions for Kroger, Macy’s and Tesco at dunnhumby, and developed pricing analytics at Oracle. Beyond the core team, Index’s advisors have served in C-level roles at leading retailers including Whole Foods, Jamba Juice, Burger King, J.Crew and Williams-Sonoma.
Index said it will apply its Series A funding to support the company’s continued rollout with retailers and the growth of its team. It’s now live at stores in its headquarter city of San Francisco.