Searching for the best price on goods can be a tedious exercise: Will the item be cheaper at Amazon or in a store? Do you have to keep worrying about whether there will be a price drop? These questions are what Earny sets out to address. The company has launched what it calls a personal assistant bot that will automatically get your money back on past purchases — without you needing to do anything beyond the initial setup.
Earny also announced today that it has raised $1 million from Sweet Capital Ltd., Science Inc., Wealthfront CEO Adam Nash, and Yahoo senior vice president Jeff Bonforte.
To set up the Earny app for iOS, you download it and enter your email credentials or Amazon account. Earny needs this information to locate email receipts you receive, which it’ll use as a trigger to monitor whether the price of those purchases goes down at any of the top 50 stores online within 90 days of your original purchase. If there is a price drop, Earny will automatically recoup the difference and send you a push notification about it. You don’t have to do anything else.
The company believes that most consumers aren’t aware of price protection policies implemented by stores and credit card issuers. Instead of requiring you to do all of the legwork, including researching store policies and requesting refunds, Earny “watches your back,” said its CEO, Oded Vakrat. “There are $50 billion of unclaimed savings. We’ve automated the process to help customers get the money back.”
Mike Jones, Science’s CEO, regaled VentureBeat with a personal anecdote, saying that he installed Earny on his phone and forgot it was there. Within two months, he claimed the service saved him over $100 in purchases on his credit card. “Now I don’t worry about pricing and doing my own general price comparison,” he remarked. “If I’m overpaying, Earny will figure it out.”
Vakrat said that the app is not about changing your behavior. “It’ll search for better prices, contact stores on your behalf to get your money back, and notify you,” he explained. Earny is only focused on commerce right now, but the company is looking into monitoring other verticals, such as plane tickets.
Earny does not collect any personal data, Vakrat said, but accesses your inbox only to look for receipts. All transactions are managed through MasterCard’s Simply Commerce technology. Currently it doesn’t allow granular filtering that permits you to indicate which stores you’d like to price-check and which you wouldn’t.
With the committed funding, the company will be relocating from San Francisco to Santa Monica, California to work out of Science’s headquarters, where Jones said Earny will “work side-by-side with our operators, engineers, and marketers.”
Although Earny is available only for iOS devices, an Android version is in the works.