Shopping app Scratch picks up $3.6 mln seed


Shopping app Scratch has raised $3.6 million in seed funding. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round with participation from other investors that included NextView Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg.

PRESS RELEASE

Boston, MA — July 14, 2015– Today, Scratch (www.tryscratch.com) launches its invite-only, free service connecting consumers with shopping experts who send personalized recommendations for items that are hard to search for, including gifts, home decor and clothes. Scratch’s chat-based mobile and web apps allow customers to reach shopping experts on-demand from any device, saving customers time and effort so they can get back to doing the things they love knowing all their shopping needs are in good hands.
The company also announced today that it has received $3.6 million in seed funding from top venture capital firms and angel investors in the e-commerce and retail industries.

Led by Bessemer Venture Partners, the funding round also includes investors NextView Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and Matt Salzberg, CEO of Blue Apron. Scratch’s long-term vision is to build a fundamentally better e-commerce search experience, making it easy for consumers to discover amazing products and brands from the overwhelming choices the internet offers.

“The internet has become a vast ocean of choice,” says Matt Zisow, CEO and founder of Scratch. “It’s difficult and time-consuming to find that perfect product online, especially if you’re busy with work and family, don’t love spending time shopping or don’t already know exactly what you want. We believe discovering amazing brands should be as easy as sending a few texts and tapping to buy, and that’s the experience we’re building. Our early beta customers have been loving the service, with over two-thirds making a purchase and 80% coming back with a second request.”

How Scratch Works:
Describe what you need: Through the Scratch mobile app or website, you can send a quick message describing what you’re looking for. People mostly use Scratch to find gifts, home decor and clothes, but the service can help with just about anything. Within a few hours, you’ll hear back from one of Scratch’s shopping experts to help you find exactly what you need.

Check out your recommendations: Your shopper will send you personalized recommendations for each request, usually within 24 hours. You can ask your shopper questions and can always request additional options until Scratch hits the mark.

Tap to buy: Once you’ve found the perfect item, you can purchase directly through Scratch. The service securely stores your payment information and shipping addresses, so you can tap once to buy anything you see. Scratch is free to use and there are no hidden fees or mark-ups when you make a purchase—it’s just like buying directly from a retailer. Scratch also maintains a Best Price Promise: Scratch finds the best price for you online, but if you find a lower price on an item within 30 days of purchase you’ll be credited the difference.

The more you use Scratch, the better it gets: Scratch confidentially saves details on your style, preferences and needs to continually provide you with better recommendations. The service also notes who you shop for and when, so Scratch’s expert shoppers can proactively provide recommendations for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and more.

Browse Shopper Picks: Scratch’s shopping experts also curate specialized lists of interesting and unique products, and showcase them on the feed in your app. You can browse through these at your leisure and within any Shopper Picks you can send the shopper a message or buy anything with a tap.

“The internet assumes that you want as much information as possible, so you can spend hours searching for a light fixture or a gift for your mother-in-law,” says Kent Bennett, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. “Scratch knows that we have better things to do with our time, and that a shopping expert can help us make a much better decision. I’m now finding amazing products and gifts at the best prices online in a fraction of the time.”

Scratch is a free service, but you need an invitation to join. You can join the waitlist at www.tryscratch.com.

About Scratch
Founded in August of 2014, Scratch connects consumers with a network of shopping experts who help find amazing gifts, home decor, clothes and more — for free. With their mobile and web apps, the invite-only service seeks to build a fundamentally better e-commerce search experience and has raised $3.6 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, NextView Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and Matt Salzberg, CEO of Blue Apron.

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