Augmented reality treasure hunting app Seek pivots to become a hub for AR projects

One year after launching at South by Southwest with an augmented reality treasure hunting app, the Utah-based startup Seek has returned with an update transforming its service into a “YouTube for AR”. Rather than being focused on disappearing, site-specific augmented reality experiences, the company now wants to be a hub … More…

Macys credit card processors stop working on Black Friday

It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but retail giant Macy’s can’t get its credit card processors to work. Customers have been waiting in lines across the United States to buy discounted items, only to find out that the machines won’t take credit cards or gift cards. … More…

Alibaba invests $2.9B in hypermarket operator Sun Art to continue its offline retail push

Alibaba is continuing its expansion into offline retail after the Chinese e-commerce giant bought up more than one-third of one of Chinese most prolific operators of hypermarket stores. The firm announced today it has spent HK$22.4 billion (around US$2.88 billion) to acquire of 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed … More…

Photoslurp bags $870k for its shop the look UGC marketing platform

Bootstrapping Barcelona-based visual commerce startup Photoslurp has taken its first external funding: Announcing €750,000 (~$870k) in pre-Series A financing, led by Spanish VC Inveready Technology Investment Group, with participation from Bankinter VC, Caixa Capital Risc and ICF. The team’s SaaS platform is designed for brands to build influence by leveraging user generated … More…

Predictive marketing startup Reflektion raises $12M for international expansion

Reflektion, a marketing startup that uses predictive analytics to increase conversion rates on e-commerce sites, has raised $12 million to support its international expansion plans. The new funding is an extended Series B round led by Hasso Plattner, with participation from returning investors Battery Ventures and Clear Ventures. Reflektion has … More…

ActionIQ nabs $30M led by A16Z to bring big data targeting to marketers

The trend of using big data analytics to glean more targeted insights for your business continues to be democratized, with an increasing number of startups hitting the market to help those who are not data scientists nor engineers take advantage of these kinds of tools. In the latest development, a … More…

Why Samsung doesnt beat Apple where it matters

Guy Hirsch Contributor An innovation strategist, Guy Hirsch is the former director of Innovation Strategy and lead of Retail Innovation at Samsung, mentor at UpWest Labs and two-time venture-backed founder. Samsung’s competition with Apple is on premium phone ($400+) market share, and Apple is crushing Samsung in this market. Other market … More…

Persados software-generated marketing messages can now be emotionally manipulative

There are few fields that have embraced the marketing potential and self-mythologizing power of machine learning as readily as marketing. Indeed, few industries seem more perfectly matched to this particular cultural moment of hype, obfuscation, outsized claims and flim-flammery as the modern sales industry. So it’s little wonder that an … More…

Unboxing Stitchfixs S-1

Ezra Galston Contributor Stitch Fix’s numbers – especially for FY 2016 (and presumably prior) – are so far outside the normal distribution, that they look more like the growth of a viral social app than a commerce company. My personal guess is that Stitch Fix, with its differentiated & innovative … More…

Traaqr connects your online identity with your real one

Traaqr, a St. Louis-based company, has just announced the launch of their interesting and clever new service. Essentially the system connects online interactions with real world customer service representatives, ensuring accurate attribution when someone goes from your website to your phone bank. Created by entrepreneurs Brian Handrigan, Jeff Linihan, and … More…

AI startup Appier hires Sean Chu from Microsoft to head its Asia growth strategy

Appier, the artificial intelligence startup that recently raised a $33 million Series C from three of Asia’s biggest Internet companies, has hired former Microsoft Japan marketing senior director Sean Chu to oversee its growth strategy. As Appier’s new chief strategy officer, Chu will be based in Tokyo and helm Appier’s … More…

Marketing startup Synup gets $6M Series A to help brands manage their online reputation

Synup founder Ashwin Ramesh Synup, a startup that helps marketers monitor where their brands are mentioned online, announced that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Vertex Ventures. Existing investor Prime Venture Partners also returned for the round. Though based in Bangalore, Synup’s main market has … More…