Monday, October 21, 2013

RetApps raises €350k from private investors

Smart Commerce Solutions provider RetAPPs, a startup specializing in innovative technology smartphones solutions targeting retailers, raised €350,000 funding in a first investment round with a group of private investors that includes, among others, Gianluca Andena, founder of Andena Holding (11%) and Guido Paolo Gamucci, founder of Bincot (11%) and, Marco Pittini and Guido Carissimo o f Vela Imprese (3%). The operation, which also provides an option for a second round of investment that could bring the stakes now totaling 24%, to increase to 40% in 2014, will allow RetAPPs to consolidate its presence in Italy and expand internationally.

A little over a year after its birth, in fact, are already four the Italian brands that have decided to adopt the SmartBip solution: Auchan, Coop Estense, Tigros and Conad Centro Nord. While Mobile Self Scanning developed by RetAPPs.

Founded in 2012 within Superpartes Innovation Campus in Brescia, Italy, which maintained the
remaining shareholding along with CEO Alessandro Tiretta, of RetAPPs has developed the SmartBip  solution that integrates services of Mobile Self Scanning, Mobile Payment, Shopping List Management and Mobile CRM (Loyalty, Promotion & Couponing). Through the possibility to offer services and added value and to gather and optimize customers' behavioral  data, SmartBip allows retailers in improving the shopping experience of own consumers before, during and after the purchase and, as a result, to give value and reinforce the retailer-client relationship.

In the last year, the Mobile Self Scanning solution developed by , has been was installed in 60 stores and is regularly used by over 50,000 users. Let's consider an Auchan customer, which has the luck to live in the surroundings of the three pilot stores of the French multinational. By adhering to the service realized by RetAPPs the customer no longer needs to carry around a credit, loyalty and identity card. No cards, only a smartphone.

The word app doesn't really describe the full potential of RetAPPs which should be instead be considered as a service. Indeed, allows people to do what devices for shop-by-yourself do, now adopted by many chains (Esselunga, Carrefour for example) but that cost tens of thousands of euro of devices and installation. With  SmartBip the smartphone becomes an instrument for products' self-scanning, to virtual credit card to pay at the cashier, the virtual loyalty card for points and the card that guarantees the identity of the purchaser. It happens also that the customer has to associate his profile, his tax data, his phone number to a credit card, and it does it only once on the site of the seller or directly at the information point. At this point the smartphone becomes a powerful weapon, but very safe, as for the payment at the cashier you will need to enter a pin code.

Therefore, the smartphone - along with SmartBip - works in stores as a self-scanning terminal and a credit card together. Outside the shop it becomes a marketing tool. It allows to manage the shopping list and the points, and allows you to catch instantaneous offers of a selling point, thanks to geolocalization. If we want to, the app could in the long run avoid or at least reduce the deforestation of forests caused by printing on millions of leaflets a week. SmartBip is appreciated by consumers and it's actually a cool solution, of those referred to bask in the bar with friends, which allows to manage a real direct relationship between retailers and their customers so much dense of information in transit that you can not even imagine what could it make with marketing.