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Russian Altair Capital announces that they have invested $450K (342K Euro) in Goodwin, a service which combines offline and online shopping by allowing customers to make purchases by taking a picture with their phone and then purchase the item in 2 clicks. I spoke with CEO and founder of Goodwin, Dmitry Shmakov and he told me that, although the service has not yet launched, the new shareholders will not take more than a 15% stake and the company has received a $3 million (2,28 million Euro) valuation.
The company, which will release apps for Android and iOS, plans to convert surfaces into storefronts in high-traffic areas like railway stations, airports, shopping centers, parks, and even underground surfaces. The idea is for customers to be able to use QR codes placed in a magazine or on a wall to purchase a product and to then have it delivered that same day to a given address and at a given time. Goodwin anticipates generating revenue by taking a 5-15% commission, depending on the product, from each item sold.
You might have seen the film about Tesco running QR-code shop in the underground stations in Korea back in 2011, and the Czech Mall.cz experimented with this concept (prior to being sold as part of the Netretail Holding to Naspers).
In the West, retail giant Target announced a year ago that they would add QR codes to the hottest 20 toys of the season to allow customers to buy them straight from their phones. And in the CEE region, we’ve seen Polish Recognize.im, (formerly SaveUp) founded in 2010 and backed by SpeedUp Group and Innovation Nest, enter this market. Recognize.im is a bit different in that they are a B2B service which offers an API for image-recognition software, but the principle is the same. The idea is to offer companies a way to use image-recognition software, but it is often, but not always, a way to drive sales. Having identified an item that they like, the customer takes a photo and is directed to an online store for the purchase.
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