This week, French startup Prixing announced that they had raised €1.75 Million from SPIR Communication to expand development on their mobile shopping application. With SPIR taking 22% ownership of the company, the puts a valuation of just under eight million euro for Prixing, which was founded just over a year ago. We talked briefly about Prixing and their competitors, Skerou and Shopmium, a few weeks ago when we highlighted the fast-growing mobile shopping space in France.
Available on Android and iPhone, the app has already surpassed 700K combined downloads. With a goal of making the smartphone the best way to organize your grocery shopping experience, they’re certainly off to a great start. Offering brands and other interested parties the ability to communicate directly to shoppers via their smartphone, and inversely offering coupons, price comparisons, smart shopping lists and more to shoppers, it’s only a matter of time before mobile shopping becomes the norm.
The application currently allows to scan bar codes and compare prices on individual items at different stores, receive coupons for certain items, store your loyalty cards on your phone, as well as receive import information about products. While these things are ‘nice-to-have,’ it is the startup’s vision that will ultimately steer them towards their goal. Talking with DG Thomas France earlier this year, it was clear that their vision goes beyond getting the cheapest price on toothpaste. As more and more supermarkets embrace the digital age, the amount of information on grocery prices and stockage will be more and more accessible.
For me, one of the most interesting ideas is that mobile shopping is taking off in France before being big in the United States. Talking with fellow Americans, it seems that this comes down to the fact that French people shop more. I don’t know mean they buy more, but they make more trips to the grocery store for smaller amounts of groceries – Americans will drop $200 every three weeks at CostCo and fill up their garage in case of an earthquake. Mobile shopping can’t be exciting if it’s only useful once every three weeks.
As this trend grows (and it will), it will be interesting to see how different startups approach the idea. Prixing seems quite oriented around making sure you get the best price, not only for individual items, but for your combined grocery list.