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Garret Gee scored $7 million for his startup Scan without even breaking a sweat.
“An investor called me from London after seeing my profile on AngelList,” Gee said to VentureBeat. “After a 20 minute phone call he was offering me a trip to London to finalize a $5 million investment.”
Scan’s technology generates custom QR codes. Businesses can use these codes as part of marketing campaigns. A user scans the code using their phone to complete some sort of action, such as “liking” on Facebook, taking a survey, following in Twitter, or watching something on YouTube.
They are “powerful hyperlinks for the real-world.”
“Scan is on a mission to connect the real world with the digital universe,” Gee said. “We want to take valuable digital actions and enable them in the offline world.”
Scan now services 175,000 businesses and 500,000 codes are being generated using Scan each month. Gee said its mobile app has been downloaded 50 million times.
Today the company announced the release its Scan to Pay feature. Retailers create a QR code that is linked to a specific item and price, for example $25 for a watch or a $50 donation to a good cause. Customers scan the code and enter a 4 digit pin number to pay.
A vast majority of retail sales still take place in physical stores. Consulting firm Deloitte found that 65 percent of consumers use mobile devices while they shop, and mobile-influenced retail store sales are expected to amount to $689 billion by 2016.
This creates a major opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers to leverage mobile technology and blend the worlds of online and offline shopping to drive sales.
The idea that someone could be strolling along the street, see an ad for a concert, and scan and buy tickets with just a few taps is pretty powerful.
Scan, like most startups in Silicon Valley, has a profile on popular investor social network AngelList. AngelList connects startups and investors (and investors and investors) from all over the world. Startups share information about their company and investors use the site as a resource when scouting and vetting potential deals, as well as co-investors.
AngelList makes it possible for a London investor to find a promising opportunity halfway across the world, and offer $5 million before meeting face to face. Most venture capital money is concentrated in Silicon Valley and entrepreneurs make the pilgrimage there when trying to raise institutional rounds.
Not in this case however. London-based Entree Capital led this round.
AngelList has evolved into much more than a social network. Deals are enabled all the time through the site. Between the lift on the ban of general solicitation and the new syndicates feature, its influence is now getting even stronger. Startups can now publicly announce they are fundraising on AngelList, and established investors can rally their existing network together to fill out a round.
Scan is just one example of how AngelList is impacting the venture capital industry, but there will be many more to come.