More on shopping malls….

nearbynow2.bmpNearbyNow is a search engine specifically for your local shopping mall — and we hear it’s getting strong interest from venture capitalists.

It’s about to finish raising another $5 million. The company raised $2.5 million last year, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and including Draper Richards.

On its face, this may seem like just another wannabe search engine. However, there’s increasing realization that many people like to search online to do price comparisons, but prefer to shop offline so they can touch and feel a product — especially for higher-priced items. We recently wrote about Krillion, which lets you search local stores for consumer appliances. Both sites are getting inventory information straight from the local retailers, and so their info is much richer than others sites, such as ShopLocal.

NearbyNow lets people search online through the entire inventory of their local shopping malls. So shoppers at home can see what is new, and what is on sale. They can search by category, but also search for things like coupons, or by stores. A site is created for each shopping mall (see screenshot below). Moreover, the company is offering search stations within the malls. Like in the Reactrix case, we’ve heard the company has signed deals with several top mall owners. (Our source is outside of the company).

Several Silicon Valley malls are among those already live.

Here’s more information on the type of information the site provides to customers, retailers and advertisers. Nothing can be bought online; it is about pushing people into the stores.


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