NearSt, a London, UK-based retail technology startup, secured £2m in seed funding.
Backers in the round, which brought the total raised by NearSt to date to £3.2m, included Will Hobhouse (Heal’s, Jack Wills, Whittard of Chelsea) and Ben Laurie (Google Research & Machine Intelligence) alongside senior engineers from pioneering AI firm DeepMind. The funding was led by YYX Capital.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate uptake by retailers in the UK with a wave of new hires, and launch its offering in the US.
Founded in 2015 by Max Kreijn (36) and Nick Brackenbury (31), NearSt is a retail tech startup which has developed a platform linking products on shop shelves at local bricks and mortar shops in real-time to nearby customers searching in Google. The technology provides a spotlight on products currently hidden on the shelves of local stores, enabling shoppers to see that buying nearby is easier than ordering online.
Shops install a piece of software that automatically connects to any type of shop till or inventory management system. Shortly after, they will start seeing their products appear in local search results, sending nearby shoppers in-store who might otherwise have ordered online.