E-commerce recommendations service Scratch raises $3.6m

Scratch, a chat-based mobile and web app that allows customers to reach shopping experts on-demand, has raised $3.6 million in seed funding led by  venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners.

The funding round also includes investors NextView Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and Matt Salzberg, CEO of Blue Apron.

The start-up also launched today its invite-only, free service connecting consumers with shopping experts who send personalized recommendations for items that are hard to search for, including gifts, home decor and clothes.

Through the Scratch mobile app or website, you can send a quick message describing what you’re looking for. People mostly use Scratch to find gifts, home decor and clothes, but the service can help with just about anything. Within 24 hours, you’ll hear back from one of Scratch’s shopping experts to help you find exactly what you need.

The start-up also allows users to purchase directly through Scratch with its tap-to-buy feature.

The service also notes who you shop for and when, so Scratch’s expert shoppers can proactively provide recommendations for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and more.

“The internet has become a vast ocean of choice. It’s difficult and time-consuming to find that perfect product online, especially if you’re busy with work and family, don’t love spending time shopping or don’t already know exactly what you want,” says Matt Zisow, CEO and founder of Scratch.

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