In this digital era, there’s certainly no shortage of customer feedback when it comes to the interactions at brick-and-mortar retail stores. Venuelabs, a Seattle area startup led by former Microsoft and Jobster employee Neil Crist, is looking to help everyone from pizza parlors to gas stations make sense of all of the chatter.
Formerly known as Valuevine, the two-year-old startup just landed $500,000 in fresh capital from an undisclosed Silicon Valley investor and the founders of business analytics company Corelogic. Total funding in Venuelabs now stands at $950,000.
Crist tells GeekWire that the business is booming right now. Since launching the company’s VenueRank program last November — described as a “Klout for storefronts” — revenue is up 40 percent month-over-month. It’s expected to top 100,000 storefronts sometime next week, and the employee base is on track to nearly double to 18 employees in the coming month.
“Today brick-and-mortar storefronts are overwhelmed with the vast number of pages and sites capturing consumer content about their specific location,” said Crist, adding that VenueRank provides an “at-a-glance daily score to let them know how they are doing.”
Companies such as Jaguar, Juice It Up, Chevron, and Little Caesars Pizza also use Venuelabs to track the performance and health of their storefronts and keep tabs on competitors, drilling down into reviews on sites such as Yelp and tracking activities on Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.
“With the explosion of smart phones and consumer use of apps that encourage sharing your location, there is a great opportunity for brands with locations to start learning from this vast and rapidly growing location based information,” added Crist. “We answer the basic question that most chain brands at corporate struggle with: ‘What’s really going on with customers at our stores?’”
For example, a pizza chain recently used Venuelabs’ technology to make sure that it was getting the most out of a Groupon offer. And an electronics retailer used it to measure feedback from those who attended an in-store concert.