Austin startup eyeQ, which sells technology that helps traditional retailers compete with online sites, has raised $3.5 million for growth.
The four-year-old company sells in-store digital displays that retailers can place near products. Customers can interact with the displays to get product information, which is customized based on the user. The displays can target information based on factor including age, gender and location.
When shoppers interact with the devices, eyeQ gathers data, which it uses to make recommendations and special offers such as discounts.
The lead investor in the deal was Austin-based Align Capital. The company previously raised$1.5 million from investors including Dreamit, the Houston Angel Network and the South Coast Angel Network.
CEO Michael Garel said the company currently has seven paying customers, including Ford, Hewlett-Packard and OtterBox, and is in negotiation with another 12 brands.
Garel said in-store shoppers have come to expect the benefits that shopping online provides, such as personalized messages, pertinent suggestions and in-depth product information.
"Those benefits are usually nonexistent in physical stores," Garel said in an interview last year. "We're providing shoppers with that same personalized experience when they walk into a store."
The company will use the funding for product development and to expand sales and marketing.
EyeQ has nine employees and plans to grow to 15 by year's end, Garel said.
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