COVID-19 changed the way consumers think and shop which is why Retail Aware is beginning to shape new ways to help the retail industry adapt to these pressing times. In mid-September of 2020, the company announced that it had raised a $1.1M oversubscribed seed round; the round was led by New Stack Ventures out of Chicago and included participation from Network Ventures, Lofty Ventures as well as existing investors like Invest Nebraska. With this most recent investment, Retail Aware has raised an accumulative $2M in funding.
“We are proud to receive support from a wide range of investors,” said Retail Aware Founder & CEO Keith Fix in the company’s press release. “With their contributions, it ensures our ability to deliver industry-leading data insights to our brands and retailer partners.”
So, what exactly is Retail Aware and what is its use? Retail Aware provides in-store shopper behavior data for brands, retailers and their partners in real-time. They do this through their patent-pending sensor and AI technology that provides insights like shopper journey, attribution, AB testing results, execution, and activity heat mapping. Retail Aware captures this information via sensors that are about the size of a quarter, and do not require any modifications to shelf, fixtures, or product. These camera-less sensors use motion, heat and light in order to capture data. With these insights, Retail Aware provides raw data, customized dashboards, or an API to plug into existing client analytics to help their clients make informed decisions about their products.
Keith Fix founded the company back in 2016, and the company has since seen quite a bit of success. Fix pitched the company at the 2018 Get Started Omaha event and won a prize of $10,000. Before Retail Aware, Fix graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing, Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2012 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. After graduating, Fix kept busy and was responsible for the founding of two other startups: DailyMav.com, a group discount website built in association with the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Blabfeed, a digital kiosk signage and technology integrator that served a diverse portfolio of retail, healthcare, financial, education, and public entities.
So, how’d it all begin? As Fix mentions in an article by SPN, “The new company [Retail Aware] was kind of a spinoff of what we were previously doing in the digital signage space,”. With a solid foundation for his new idea, Fix leaned on The Food Foundry, a food industry startup accelerator located in Chicago to help make his idea a reality. Shortly thereafter, Retail Aware landed its very first client in 2018. Since then, Retail Aware has gained traction and has adapted new ways its sensors can be used.
Retail Aware’s most recent funding round took place on September 2020 where the company raised $1.1M in an oversubscribed seed round, led by Chicago-based New Stack Ventures, with additional participation from Network Ventures, Lofty Ventures and existing investors such as Invest Nebraska.