Turning the Phone Down the Street into the Feet in the Store: My Investment in Radius8

Amazon is opening up retail locations.

Think about that.  

The very behemoth that made bricks and mortar into dirty words thinks it's important to have a physical presence in a storefront.  

Makes you think about everyone trying to turn their digital presence into just another location, but in the cloud.  Competing with Amazon online is a loser's bet that smart retailers can't afford to make.  If you know what you're looking for, for most things, there's no better place to get a thing than Amazon.

If you need help, need to touch a item, see how it feels, talk to a human, try on, test, or hell, if you're just looking to walk around and pass the time with your friend, you want to go into a store.  Plus, as quickly as Amazon can deliver something, it isn't quicker than just walking in and walking out with something.

And now, Amazon's going after that, too.  

If I were a retailer, I'd be pretty scared if I didn't have a plan to fight.

And fighting means using all of my resources, together, in a united front--both digital and storefront--together.

That's where Radius8 comes in, the latest Brooklyn Bridge Ventures investment that I'm excited to announce.



They provide a technology that allows retailers to curate trending local store inventory online, in real time, to customers who are online and within the vicinity of a store.  Brands and retailers have traffic--lots of it.  You visit the sites and social of brands you love because they speak to you.  You have a relationship there.  They're your trusted and stylish friend.  

Amazon in your employee.  You tell it what to do, but you don't spend time there.  You're in and out.  

Brands need to turn that time and influence into in store dollars.  

Radius8 turns the phones down the street into the feet in the store by turning the local portion of their digital presence on it's head.  Instead of hitting local last--that clunky 1990's "Find a store" page (always the worst page on a site)--now you hit it first, at the top of the funnel.  You experience the digital presence of a store or brand locally, because you are local.

Retailers can offer individual items to online customers within a geofence of each location and connect you to the human who can tell you for sure that your pants are in stock and so is a nice pair of shoes to go with it.  It just makes sense--because if you're in a Starbucks next door to a Gap, the website should know that, as should their Facebook and so should their ads.  They should direct you to come on over, not shop online where the experience and delivery competes head to head with Amazon, and creates costly returns.  

Brands and retailers agree.  Before Radius8 came out of beta they signed a six figure deal with Guess and have several more in the works.  I led a million dollar pre-seed round for them and I continue to be impressed with their traction and product development.