By Jennifer Van Grove | May 27, 2011
The inbox in its current form is a terrible place to manage your online shopping history, says Scott Brady, the CEO and co-founder of Slice, a new startup looking to change how consumers organize and access their purchase data.
The problem is an all too familiar one for frequent online shoppers: Online purchases are followed up with email order confirmations and shipping information messages that can easily be lost in the inbox. Those receipts pack meaningful data and Slice seeks to put that information at users’ fingertips.
Because it’s embedded within the new Yahoo Mail experience, the All My Purchases application helps users extract the commerce data housed inside of their inboxes. The app highlights open orders and shipments, as well as last received purchases under the “Home” tab. The user can dive into the “Track Shipments” tab to check out his purchases in transit or browse within the “Purchase History” tab to view and filter all of his previous online orders.
The startup extracts important data pieces such as item order numbers, customer service phone numbers and retailer return policies — via extraction algorithms that took more than a year to build — and presents the information in an easy-to-find fashion.
And Slice isn’t only interested in online purchases. The startup is tracking the rise of electronic receipts issued by brick-and-mortar stores and will work to extract purchase data from these receipts as well. As more of these retailers adopt ereceipts, Slice will grow in utility, offering users a single place to reference all of their past purchases.
The startup is currently focused on supporting its Yahoo Mail application and the thousands of new users that are just now being introduced to the product through Yahoo. It also makes a Gmail purchase extraction tool, however, currently in limited release.
Eventually Slice will support all web-based email clients in the same way. We’ll likely see the startup introduce mobile applications to make the user’s purchase history more universally accessible.
Slice also announced that it raised $9.4 million in a Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and DCM. The capital has been used to acquire top talent in the semantic search space, Brady says. He believes the startup now has an infrastructure in place that can later be applied to email offers and coupons.