Timberland creates its first digitally connected store

Outdoors wear manufacturing company Timberland has begun using CloudTags’ technology to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping. Timberland’s New York City Herald Square Store debuted the technology on Thursday, January 14th, which shows customers related items and allows them to create a personal shopping collection, among other services such as note taking.

CloudTags’ Global Strategy Head Brian Prezgay argues that while tradition retail apps tend to lose the attention of the customers, the in-store experience could find more success.“People will realize, ‘Hey, I have a tablet already in my pocket for this,’ and they’ll want to handle the experience on their own,” he said.

Read the full story from Digiday

Distil Networks Gets Human Touch With ScrapeSentry Acquisition

IFP Portfolio Company Distil Networks recently acquired rival startup ScrapeSensory, which approached Distil’s business from an opposite angle: using humans to help customers understand bots rather than intelligent, automated algorithms. Distil acquired ScrapeSensory in a deal that included both cash and stock.

Distil CEO Rami Essaid sees the deal as a major win for the company. While it not only eliminated a competitor, it also allows the firm to expand its human services – a task that was previously time consuming for his engineers and data scientists. Describing the deal, Essaid noted that “Enterprise customers want an analyst they can work with to add a human element to everything we do. It just made sense to combine forces.”

Read the full story from TechCrunch

Triangle entrepreneur Jud Bowman launches third startup

Successful Triangle entrepreneur Jud Bowman has launched his third startup, Sift Media. The company is a spinout of the publicly-traded Digital Turbine, which acquired his last startup, Appia, for $100 million. SEC filings indicate that Digital Turbine received a 10% stake in Sift and $1 million cash as part of the spinout.

Bowman is excited and optimistic, and believes Sift has the potential to be his most successful venture yet. Sift is an advertising technology startup based in Durham, and it recently raised $3.25 million in a round led by Wakefield Group that included IDEA Fund Partners, Piedmont Capital, And Alerion Ventures.

Read the full story from The News and Observer