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Reflektion raises $8M to hypothesize about what you want to buy

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Even if you and I visit the same website to buy clothes, we’re probably not looking for the same exact thing.

A startup called Reflektion has built a system to help retailers customize website content based on where users come from, what they click on, and other factors. Reflektion claims its technology learns quickly to present users with the most appropriate products, recommendations, and direct interactive messages.

The technology seems to be making a strong impression, because today Reflektion announced $8 million in new funding. Intel Capital led the round, which Nike also participated in — alongside private investors. Now, the startup can develop its product further and get more businesses to use it.

At a high level, Reflektion’s technology can be described as predictive analytics — an interesting area to investors, with startups in the space like Context Relevant, Infer, and RapidMiner. Often, predictive analytics is implemented for marketing purposes, whereas Reflektion is all about getting people to buy on the spot, Sean Moran, the startup’s chief executive, told VentureBeat.

Once a company registers for an annual contract, employees can log into Reflektion’s site and use it there, or they can tap Reflektion’s application programming interfaces (APIs) in order to run the system. Reflektion has a dozen customers, Moran said, Others are piloting the technology, including surfing brand O’Neill, which found that its conversion rate — how often a visit turns into a sale — was 50 percent higher than usual for a prolonged period of time.

Believe it or not, you can make good guesses about what people want based on few bits of information, like whether a person is visiting a site for the first time, what time it is, what day it is, what device the person is using, and what site the person came from, Moran said. “We’re able to right away make some pretty good predictions about what you’re about,” he said.

And of course, a person visiting for a second time will see a more customized site, because a cookie captured everything the person checked out the first time. “Basically, we’ll have updated our scores [of products], if you will, for what you’re most interested in,” Moran said.

Reflektion is based in San Mateo, Calif., and has 20 employees. Including the new funding, it has raised $11.3 million since starting in 2012.

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