Quri, A Retail Intelligence Platform Using Mobile Crowdworkers, Scores $10 Million From Matrix & OthersOctober 02, 2013
by Sarah Perez
A company tapping into the power of a distributed mobile workforce is Quri, a retailer analytics and intelligence company whose software has been adopted by half of the top twenty-five CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands around the world, including Tyson, Nestle, Dannon, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and others. And it’s only been on the market for 15 months. Today, the company is announcing an injection of capital to fund its growth, with $10 million in Series B funding in a round led by Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners, who will now join Quri’s board.
Also participating were Quri’s $4.25 million Series A investors, Catamount Ventures and Simon Equity Partners.
Quri is operating within an enterprise-focused vertical in a broader space where a number of mobile task-orientated marketplaces are now emerging. Consumer-facing startups like TaskRabbit or Postmates let users farm out their to-do’s and deliveries, for example. Like Quri, these companies are also taking advantage of a similar trend involving workers who can be assigned jobs on demand through their mobile phones. Gigwalk, a more direct competitor, also taps into mobile workers who are willing to be the eyes and ears for businesses in need of temporary on-the-ground staff, like people to photograph retail displays, restaurant menus, or even real estate listings.
But San Francisco-based Quri has been more narrowly focused on the CPG space since its founding in late 2010, and subsequent general availability last summer. Instead of trying to build a more generalized task marketplace, it’s been developing specific templates and workflows that make sense for CPG brands and their retailers.
Before Quri, brands needing to spot check their promotions, displays, and other inventory issues would have to manage the process through old-school methods, or they could pull point-of-sale data which would let them know after the fact if things were priced incorrectly. According to studies the company itself ran, human errors and other mistakes are fairly common in the industry – 22% of the time the brand’s promotional pricing is not being displayed, and 49% of the time, its merchandising displays are simply MIA.
Today, Quri works with over 25 manufacturers to address issues like these, which can have a significant impact – in terms of billions of dollars – on their sales. To do so, Quri utilizes a mobile workforce via a consumer-facing iPhone app called EasyShift to distribute its assignments. CEO Justin Behar declined to provide the number of mobile workers who use Quri regularly, but said the app allows the company to now cover 99% of retailers’ presence in stores – a metric that has grown from 40% a year ago. That’s tens of thousands of stores, he says, noting also that 75%-80% of data is collected by Quri’s workforce within 48 hours.
The workers range from those picking up the occasional side job earning around $100 per month to those who regularly take on tasks, often alongside other crowdsourced work like TaskRabbit tasks, earning them $500-$1,000 per month. Among the most active Quri workers, churn rates (turnover) are less than 10% per year, says Behar.