Krillion — a local shopping search engine

Krillion is a search engine that lets you find consumer appliances in stores near you.

This start-up, based in Mountain View, is a response to strong evidence that most people prefer to buy in a store, even after they research prices online — particularly big ticket items like refrigerators, ovens, washers, dryers and dishwashers. (Krillion cites research that it says shows 75 percent of people make more than 90 percent of their purchases offline).

So Krillion lists the specific makes of fridges and other appliances carried at the stores near you, and that are in stock, thus giving you more direct help in your quest to find them. Eventually, Krillion wants to expand coverage to other categories, including consumer electronics, lawn and garden and seasonal appliances.

Joel Toledano, chief executive, gave VentureBeat a preview last week, and it does the job it says it does. It is better ShopLocal and other search engines, which don’t offer such detailed local information. ShopLocal will show which stores are supposed to carry an item in your area, but it often links you back to the retailer’s main site, and there’s no guarantee the local branch carries your item. Krillion, by comparison, offers that information, and lets you click to call the local store — to double check something is in stock or ask other questions. Krillion’s challenge is that, so far at least, it serves a very narrow niche. Its service is predicated on getting the consumer in touch with a store, so the purchase won’t be made at Krillion.

That’s why Krillion kicks off with an advertising product too. It lets advertisers track ad campaigns at Krillion with an analytics tool. This way, advertisers can hawk their wares with ad beside the results of competitors, and watch how their campaigns are doing.

Krillion covers more than 40,000 U.S. cities and towns.

Users should be able to find Krillion’s results by searching in Google and other search engines, Krillion says.

Founded in February 2006, Krillion is funded by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. Chief exec Joel Toledano was previously director of business development and chief negotiator for Yahoo’s search unit. Before that, he did business development for Yahoo’s consumer services, and managed Yahoo’s alliance with SBC. Earlier, he was at Rentals.com, and before that a lawyer at Wilson Sonsini.

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