This NYC Startup Raised $2M to Bring Offline Customers Online in Stores


Digital Remarketing

CloudTags is the data platform for brick and mortars, powering customer identification and remarketing to them to increase sales.

Think of them as an online solution for customers who are offline and in stores.

Actually, they’re creating a new retail category here: In-Store Remarketing. Here’s how it works: via mobile tablets, shoppers can research products while they’re browsing in the store, create lists, then opt-in via email at the end of their visit for consideration afterward, or remain anonymous. CloudTags increase buying propensity by digitally engaging physical store shoppers and browsers, with personalized white-label emails and display ads, through information that’s collected via in-store sensors and beacons. Combined with Cloudtag’s predictive intelligence platform and remarketing techniques, the company helps to increase those in-store sales.

Implementation is simple for retailers – and pays off for shoppers, too.

CloudTags CEO James Yancey tells us how they’re seamlessly and unobtrusively changing the shopping experience.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

CloudTags raised a $2M Series A fund from IDEA Fund Partners, Alerion Ventures, Knoll Ventures and Hallett Capital.

Tell us about your product.

James Yancey

James Yancey

CloudTags is the data platform for the physical store, powering customer identification, predictive intelligence, and remarketing to increase sales. Powered by its omnichannel smart tags, sensors, and devices, CloudTags lets shoppers digitally explore with ease, using the retailer’s existing content from the product feed. The technology requires no POS integration with retailers, offering simple implementation in less than 30 days.

What inspired you to start the company?

The cofounders were early pioneers in personalization and remarketing of online retail customers, as part of 360i and IgnitionOne. We saw that with 90% of sales still happening in and after the store visit – that was where the biggest opportunities were. However, very few people in the store scan barcodes or QR codes on their personal devices. We sought to create a solution that would allow store customers to have an experience akin to online, without the barriers and friction of downloading an app,and giving your personal details at each store.

What’s your typical demographic?

Omnichannel retailers, particularly in the furniture and higher consideration segments, like auto, bedding, luxury apparel and kitchen and bath.

How is it different?

We collect offline, in-store shopping data through beacons and sensors. Shoppers can research products while in the store via mobile tablets, create lists, then opt-in via email at the end for consideration afterward, or remain anonymous. CloudTags increase buying propensity by digitally re-engaging physical store shoppers and browsers with personalized white-label emails and display ads.

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

Primarily omnichannel retailers in the US and UK, with other opportunities for automotive dealerships.Our top two areas of focus now are furniture and auto:

  • Motor vehicle and parts dealers – $962B
  • Furniture and home furnishing – $95B

What’s your business model?

We work on both a retainer and performance model. We offer a promise to achieve a certain amount of incremental sales in a period of time related to identifying and re-engaging physical store customers.

What was the funding process like?

We met with funds in London, NYC, and on the west coast and the process took about six months to find the right partners for this early-stage investment.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

The biggest challenge is to stay focused on the daily needs of the clients and business, while ensuring enough time was spent meeting and speaking with investors.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

The primary thing was the clear ROI demonstration, retention of 100% of our pilots and the expansion of three retailers, two on them to full-store rollouts. We also have a shorter sales cycle than many other solution companies in the space, due to our light tech footprint.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

We are focused primarily on US new business wins and expansion of locations, with our biggest client advanced indoor location analytics via beacons and adoption of in-store remarketing across all clients globally.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Generally, resist the temptation to work with high paid consultants to help fix things, as most times they don’t deliver. Don’t question your idea, if you have reason to believe the concept is good but question timing immensely. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Things tend to work themselves out if you stay the course and are patient.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

I see CloudTags becoming the lead in the emerging science of digital interactions with physical things. We will be the leader in the category we’re creating, “in-store remarketing.”

What’s your favorite NY area beach?

Definitely Fire Island.


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