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Tecca Aims to Make Gadget Buying Simple

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Best Buy (s bby) and Fuse Capital are taking the wraps off a new consumer electronics shopping and information service called Tecca, the first venture out of the digital fund Best Buy established last year and gave over to Fuse Capital to manage.

Tecca was quietly launched last week as an app on the iPhone (s AAPL) and Android (s GOOG) platforms aimed at making the process of buying gadgets easy. Ross Levinsohn, managing director at Fuse and former president of Fox Interactive Media (s atvi), is serving as chairman while fellow Fuse partner and former Fox Interactive head of entertainment Mickie Rosen will be the CEO.

The idea is that when consumers are on the prowl for technology products, they can fire up the Tecca app and get reviews, specifications, pictures and other information. They can also put items on a wish list or just buy them from a handful of retailers (including, obviously, Best Buy).

Others like Retrevo or GDGT offer similar services, online but Tecca is positioning itself as a mobile app solution. Toward that end, Tecca also offers the ability to scan barcodes on products, a la RedLaser, in order to get information and competing prices on the items.

The company of just seven employees has plans to roll out a web site and a mobile site, as well as an iPad app by the end of this year. It also plans to expand its offering to include more information about using products, taking care of them and ultimately recycling them when the time comes.

Levinsohn said in an interview that the goal is to give people a very easy-to-use destination for tech buying information, helping bridge the digital world and the physical marketplace. He said the target isn’t hardcore tech fiends but mainstream users who are still savvy enough to shop through their phones. Ultimately, he says he hopes to curate information from a number of sites including potential competitors like GDGT and Retrevo.

Besides the original funding, Best Buy also provided some consumer user data for Tecca. But Levinsohn said Tecca is being run as a completely separate entity, which means Tecca could steer consumers away from Best Buy if they like lower prices from other online retailers.

For Best Buy, it’s another sign that the company is looking beyond just being a brick and mortar retailer. The company also bought Napster in 2008 for $121 million and announced a partnership last year with Sonic Solutions to pursue a CinemaNow movie download service.

It’s not necessarily going to be easy for Tecca. They’re looking for middle-of-the-road users but mobile apps, we’re learning, aren’t quite a mainstream phenomenon yet. The Best Buy tie-in is nowhere to be found on Tecca either, which could have helped Tecca get some more initial brand awareness from users.

Disclosure: GDGT is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

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The Internet of Things: What It Is, Why It Matters

3 Responses to “Tecca Aims to Make Gadget Buying Simple”

  1. Another mainstream gadget guy

    While reading this article, I was wondering what made this app so special as to be worthy of a mention here on GigaOm. Clearly, it’s an also-ran, recycling features found in other apps (including ones that Best Buy has already launched).

    It was only when I got to the end of the article and read the disclosure that it all made sense. So these guys get a writeup on here not because they’re innovative, but because they’re backed by investor who’s also an investor of your parent company.

    • Hello anonymous reader

      If you re-read the post, you will see that Tecca has no financial relationship with the investors in the parent company of this blog. Secondly, the investors are backing a rival to Tecca. Hopefully that clarified things to you and perhaps next time I can address you in your formal name and have a more direct conversation in the comments. Thanks

  2. mainstream gadget guy

    Finally a way to cut through the BS of gadget-buying! Thank you Tecca for making life for non-geeked-out gadget-guys like me more enjoyable. I hope you take over the federal government and cut through all their BS next!