Near St

If the national headlines are to be believed, the death of the high street is imminent. But is it really all doom and gloom? At YYX Capital we think not.

Research shows us that 86% of online shoppers are willing to go in-store if they know a product is available and “on the shelf”. A further 76% of people who do a search on their smartphone will go and visit their local shop within 24 hours if they know it stocks the product they are looking for.

That’s a quicker transaction from selection to purchase and subsequent product “in hand” than many online delivery options. And of course you don’t have to worry about missing the postman.

There are over 200,000 stores in the UK alone and millions worldwide. Each and every shop – from local health food stores to book shops and even your local pharmacy has an untold inventory of daily essentials and products that until now have lain hidden from the eye of the online shopper.

This week NearSt, the London retail technology start-up which was founded 3 years ago by Max Kreijn and Nick Brackenbury, announced it has struck a partnership with Google to make it easier for shoppers to find out what is available before heading to their local stores.

The duo have developed a technology that connects to any retailer’s point of sale system, extracts the rough inventory data and shows, in real time, who locally stocks what, and at what price. This means that if a consumer wants to buy – for example – a particular brand of moisturiser, instead of just online results, he or she is shown pharmacists or beauty shops that stock it within a mile or two of where they are.

The technology has enabled them to create the most detailed, extensive and live picture of what is available on the high street ever. 

YYX Capital first met Max and Nick in 2016 and quickly realized the potential – both in the co-founders and the technology they have developed. NearSt is undoubtedly knocking on the door of a market worth tens of billions of pounds – and epitomises what we at YYX are looking for – next generation companies developing genuine innovations in and around retail technology.

Our agreement with NearSt positions us as lead backer with 25% equity in the business.  But we don’t just invest. Our ethos and aim for all our partnerships is to offer significant value to investee businesses through our extensive branding and marketing expertise as well a strategy. The YYX team lead NearSt’s move from a B2C business to a B2B platform – a structural shift that was partly responsible for the subsequent formation of the Google partnership.

YYX’s Venture Builder arm has been developed to work in partnership with early stage companies to help them grow and develop, providing them with access to an expert resource network over and above the significant financial backing we can also provide.