Google Wallet founders Marc Freed-Finnegan (pictured) and Jonathan Wall have got new heavyweight backing for Index, their start-up that enables retailers to offer more personalised services to shoppers and is pitching itself in competition with the likes of Square, PayPal and Groupon.
The firm has raised $7 million in a Series A round led by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Khosla Ventures, AIMCo and 819 Capital.
The idea is that Index helps retailers know more about their customers. Retail staff at the point-of-sale will have access to a user’s broader payment data beyond just their credit cards.
Newcomer Index sounds like a potential competitor in some part to mobile point-of-sale providers such as Square which also aim to give retailers access to better customer data, as well as PayPal which has set itself up as the merchant’s friend and is currently working on its Bluetooth-based Beacon technology.
Other Index ideas include checking in a shopper via in-store sensors that communicate with their phone. Index is planning an iPhone app although no launch date has been mentioned. The shopper would also receive a personalised feed in the retailer’s app and could access exclusive coupons and offers.
This individualised customer recognition could extend to the point-of-sale where they might only need to input a PIN to clear a transaction.
At present, much of Index’s thinking sounds familiar, and so far it has not announced any high-profile customers, although it has a small cake shop chain on board called Cako Bakery