An Australian e-commerce start-up hoping to give the likes of eBay and Amazon a run for their money has secured 2.3 million Australian dollars in funding.
Melbourne-based Brauz revealed on Twitter that it recently received an infusion of 1 million Australian dollars from unnamed investors, bringing its total funding to 2.3 million Australian dollars since launching a beta version of its app in March.
The seed funding will be used to further build out the company, which hopes to launch globally and be working with 2,000 retailers by the end of next year and 20,000 retailers by 2020.
While Brauz is aiming to compete in the growing e-commerce game with giants like Amazon, which has operated in Australia since 2012, it is trying to do things in a different and more retail-friendly way.
Instead of presenting multiple products for an online shopper to browse, Brauz lets users follow products they like and brings specific products to users’ attention based on predictive preference algorithms and shows them which stores are selling them.
The app also uses beacon technology to alert users when they’re near a store that has what they are, or may be, looking for, along with virtual reality function that lets a user browse a store without having to visit it.
The company couldn’t be reached immediately for additional comment.
A shopping app that lets you browse a store from the couch could be coming at a good time, as a new Nielsen study found that consumers are twice as familiar with virtual reality technology as they were a year ago. Fifty-one percent of people in a 2,000 person study said they were familiar with some form of the technology.
Beacon technology as well is becoming more widely used by physical retailers eager to pull in customers and gather more data on foot traffic.
That puts Brauz at the center of a number of technologies that are coming to age as retailers adapt to an increasingly digital world.
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