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ShopAdvisor secures $5 million in capital to evolve app

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON — The maker of a mobile app designed to help consumers track and remember products for later has secured $5 million in new capital.

ShopAdvisor said it closed the financing round with Pittco Capital Partners, Seavest Capital, Rationalware Capital Partners and Boston investors Rob Soni and Bob Davoli. The new round brings the company’s total funding to $7 million.

ShopAdvisor’s mobile app is used by more than 12 million people, and the company said the funding would be used to help evolve it for businesses to bridge the gap between publishers, their advertisers and retailers. The app allows media companies like Condé Nast, Time and Hearst to provide shopping reader services for their tablet editions and allow advertisers to engage with readers.

"In an environment where editorial content and brand advertising are both valued by readers who shop, it seems natural to provide a way for featured brands and their retail partners to engage with those readers throughout the entire shopping cycle," ShopAdvisor CEO Scott Cooper said. "This funding will help us expand our offerings across a broader set of publishers and media platforms, delivering an innovative new service that can finally close the loop between media companies, their advertisers and retail."

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Global payment card fraud up nearly 15%, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

CARPINTERIA, Calif. — Global losses from credit, debit and prepaid card fraud reached $11.27 billion, an increase of 14.6% over the year before, according to a new report.

According to The Nilson Report, a payment industry newsletter, card issuers accounted for 63% of the losses, while merchants accounted for the rest. Of the total, $5.33 billion of the losses occurred in the United States, a 14.5% increase over 2011; card issuers accounted for 64% of losses, while merchants accounted for 36%. Overall, the United States accounted for 47.3% of global card fraud losses, but generated only 23.5% of total volume. According to the report, the disparity is due to the United States having the lowest percentage of cash as a percent of total volume in the world, with exception to Canada; the absence of EMV cards, which have special chip technology on the card, also contributes to losses.

"Adoption of EMV at the point of sale is the strongest defense against counterfeit cards," Nilson Report publisher David Robertson said. "EMV adoption would not only help U.S. issuers, but also issuers in other parts of the world that continue to put mag-stripes on their cards to accommodate POS terminals in the United States. Fraudsters are willingly paying a premium for stolen mag-stripe data from EMV card countries in order to create counterfeit cards for use in the United States."

The global brand cards — Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UnionPay, Diners Club and JCB — averaged fraud losses of about 6 cents per $100 in total volume.

 

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Wholly Guacamole introduces new miniature dipping cup

BY Jason Owen

FORT WORTH, Texas — Wholly Guacamole, a company specializing in premade refrigerated guacamole, announced today the addition of new miniature dipping cups to its line of products.

The new Wholly Guacamole Mini is an easy-to-open snack cup designed for dipping. They come in 2-oz. containers and contain only 100 calories each. 

The Minis will appear on grocery store shelves everywhere by mid-August and are available in four different flavors: Classic, Spicy, Avocado Ranch and Chunky Avocado. Consumers can purchase the Minis in either a 4- or 6-pack product size. The 4-count suggested retail price is between $3.99-4.99, and the 6-count is $5.29 – 5.99. Like all Wholly Guacamole® products, the Minis are all natural, gluten free, with no preservatives and kosher certified, making them the perfect substitute for mayonnaise and ranch dressing.


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