- Huw Hughes
London-based retail tech firm NearSt has raised 2 million pounds in seed
The company provides physical retailers with technology allowing them to
make the products on their physical store shelves visible to shoppers
searching online nearby.
According to NearSt’s research, 83 percent of shoppers would prefer to
shop nearby instead of online if they know an item is available in a nearby
The London-born startup, which is backed by Google, said it witnessed a
tripling in demand from shoppers seeking out local product availability in
2020, as Covid-19 shifted shopping behaviours online.
This latest funding, which brings in finance from the Grosvenor Group,
retail specialists True Global, consumer tech specialists YYX Capital and
Moscar Capital, takes the total raised by NearSt to 5 million pounds.
“We all know that the pandemic has driven shopping behaviours online;
what’s often overlooked are the millions of people now going online to
search for things locally on the high street,” co-founder Nick Brackenbury
said in a statement.
“We’ve witnessed extraordinary growth in ‘local-availability’ searches
throughout 2020. In the first lockdown customers searching for products
nearby surged 620 percent compared to February levels, before levelling off
at a 270 percent increase between July and September.”
“While this most recent lockdown has driven another 500 percent surge,
what’s clear is that shoppers are getting used to going online to find
things in the local businesses they prefer to buy from.”
Photo: NearSt founders Max Kreijn and Nick Brackenbury, courtesy
of the company