5 August 2018
We seem to be meeting more and more retail tech startups from San Francisco these days. It’s funny, because I used to avoid West Coast deals because I believed a Texas VC could only get in trouble out here! Thanks to direct referrals from mentors and portfolio companies, we’re connecting to a wealth of great talent.
Xenio works out of a hardware lab and seed fund called Bolt. This team, led by Reza Raji, has a product that bridges the gap between what a retailer knows about an online customer and an offline customer. Today, retailers know much about their online customers as they click in and navigate the website, but they know very little about the customers that walk in and navigate the physical store. Xenio is working to bridge that knowledge gap and is currently in a trial phase with three well-known brands. Hopefully, this team will realize a similar success to what they had with a previous company, iControl, that was sold to Comcast a couple years ago.
After visiting Xenio at Bolt, I headed over to Dor’s new digs. Since closing earlier this summer on an $8M Series A raise, the company has moved into a beautiful new space that’s easily 3x the size of their last space. And they are staffing up! I had the chance to visit with the company’s new head of sales, Woody, to discuss the expansion strategy. Dor scaled their traffic analytics solution to 1,000 stores faster than any other company in our portfolio. After today’s discussion, I believe they’ll be in over 10,000 locations by 2020.
My last stop of the Day was to visit Vincent Diallo, of Bleu Capital (www.bleucap.com), over at the Bespoke co-work facility at Westfield Mall. Amazing space! Vincent and his partner are entrepreneurs-turned-VC’s with a shared focus on retail tech. With one partner in New York and the other in San Francisco, they see a lot of deal flow. A fast-growing company in their portfolio is Skip, which turns a consumer’s phone into a self-checkout kiosk. Blue Capital and RevTech have a lot to collaborate on!
I have a feeling RevTech will be in San Francisco more often, as we provide a great way for Bay Area talent to “fly under the radar” as they build early traction.