Shelfbucks Buys IoT Platform

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Its addition of Emmoco takes it a step closer to enable brands to establish one-to-one connections in-store.


Shelfbucks, a startup with a board full of consumer goods heavyweights like Neiman Marcus's Richard Marcus and IRI's and comScore's Gian Fulgoni, today finalized its acquisition of Emmoco, an Internet of Things platform.  With the deal, the in-store marketing company gets full rights to Emmoco's hardware, firmware, and mobile and servicer suite of product solutions, including its BlueJoule software platform for Bluetooth connections.

“We decided we could create significant market value by joining Shelfbucks in their mission to bring connected digital to in-store retail displays and signs,” said Emmoco co-founder Charles Walden in a press release announcing the deal.

Shelfbucks is one of several companies chasing the Holy Grail of digital connectivity between brands and consumers in brick-and-mortar settings, and at least one retail researcher finds the company well along the path. “What I really liked about Shelfbucks was a) the long view to a time when communication with the consumer means a lot more than promotional offers and b) the fact that the cost is entirely passed along to the manufacturer,” wrote RSR Research's emerging markets expert Steve Rowen after a demo of the system that uses beacons to connect with apps and let brands engage directly with shoppers.

Shelfbucks received $6.5 million in Series A funding in November and its technology has been used in GameStop stores.  Other stalwarts on the company board include retired Walmart CFO Michael Fung, ex-Whole Foods CIO Mike Clifford, and Lamar Johnson, Procter & Gamble's former director of customer services, who now serves as executive director of the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas.

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