Personalized Shopping Startup eyeQ Gets $3.5M to Recommend Products

Austin—EyeQ, which makes software to help retailers provide “personalized shopping” experiences to customers, said Tuesday the company has raised $3.5 million in a Series A funding round.

The investment is led by Austin’s Align Capital, a new investor in the company, one that joins previous backers such as the Houston Angel Network and DreamIt Ventures.

Four-year-old eyeQ wants to bring customers back into physical stores—even in the age of same-day Amazon delivery. Companies like Sears or Fuddruckers install touchscreen tablets with the startup’s software, called eyeQinsights. Customers can browse through more information, reviews, or social media about a product. The software then gathers and analyzes that data in order to make more personalized recommendations to those customers.

The devices—which can range in size from a tablet to a 42-inch touchscreen—can capture age and gender, as well as pick up a smartphone signal, but not the identity of the individual standing in front of them, as my colleague David Holley reported last year. EyeQ’s technology uses the device’s camera and a wireless connection to collect the information, which makes up the basis for predicting what will be the most useful details about a product to provide to that specific customer.

So, what does the retail shopper get in exchange? That largely depends on the individual companies that eyeQ counts as customers, says Michael Garel, eyeQ’s founder and CEO. “Typically, shoppers will see experiences that have been tested to be more engaging to the shopper,” he says. That means “delivering the right content to the shopper that they are most interested in.”

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