Point Inside pinpoints new cash, helps shoppers navigate malls and grocery stores

Point Inside, which has developed mobile technologies that help people find their way through supermarkets, shopping malls, airports and theme parks, has landed $805,000 in angel financing. The round has yet to close, and because of that Chief Marketing Officer Todd Sherman declined to comment on the deal.

A filing with the SEC indicates that the company — which had previously raised $1.5 million — has brought in $805,000 of a $2 million round. It plans to use the money to bolster hiring, with Sherman saying that the 30-person company hopes to bring on about eight folks immediately.

“It is going amazingly well,” said Sherman, noting a steady flow of inbound interest from clients who are hoping to provide customers with more detailed maps of indoor environments.

One of the clients is the Midwest grocery store chain Meijer, which has partnered with Point Inside on some innovative new shopping ideas. Those include the ability of mobile app users to pinpoint exactly what they want in the store.

“If you are looking for the 24-ounce Peter Pan peanut butter, we can tell you exactly where that is,” Sherman tells GeekWire. Another upcoming feature will be a “micro location” service so Meijer can tell where shoppers are in the stores, and then serve up discounts and coupons based on where they are. A third feature will devise an efficient walking route through the store based on pre-selected items from an online grocery list, making it easier for shoppers to get in and out of the stores.

“There are some very interesting things we can do in terms of customer engagement,” Sherman said.

Point Inside started out mapping shopping malls, but it has since expanded into new areas. It has since mapped more than 1,050 venues.

One of the latest is outdoor theme parks, including Marine World in San Diego and Disneyland in southern California.

The company, which was started by Josh Marti, Jon Croy and Brian Wilson, does face competition from existing mapping providers. In fact, Bing just rolled out mobile maps for shopping malls.

Sherman declined to say whether Point Inside is working with Microsoft.

  • Guest 1

    I’m a massive fan of digital mapping — when I’m driving.

    I just don’t get it (mapping) when I’m walking.  I interact with the world an entirely different way.  I don’t want to stare at a screen (glance up and down) and orient myself through a map.  I orient myself quite differently when I’m on foot.

    I’m not saying it’s not clever and we absolutely need help finding objects and items when in-store.  I just wish there was an alternate interface that complemented the way I orient myself while walking.   There’s also something about how busy and dense the data is on a map interface that requires too much concentration.  I can’t walk and read at the same time. 

    Maybe that’s it, if I’m a passenger in a car, I can read my map off my mobile, but I can’t do it when I’m walking.  Maybe it’s just me?

  • Jon

    aisle411 has been doing this for years…

    • Egm427

      So has Point Inside…

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Paulson Michael Paulson

    Congrats to Todd and team on the funding. I’m really looking forward to seeing where you take this. Love the addition of Disneyland.

  • rjcmt

    Point Inside actually took the grocery model in early 2010 from a local startup business plan after talking with that startup’s CEO. PI was feeling the pain that thier MBA brains weren’t able to genrate revenue with the Mall and Airport target. Point Inside was asked last year if they own the Mejier software? how does 30+ employees live that funding since 2008?