Beaconstac secures $25 million investment for its QR code management platform • TechCrunch

QR code technology, which exploded during the pandemic as businesses sought hygienic alternatives to physical touchpoints, continues to grow in popularity, especially in sectors such as restaurants and retail outlets. According to According to Insider Intelligence, more than 99.5 million smartphone users will scan a QR code by 2025, up from 83.4 million in 2022. There’s a potential downside – some say QR codes reduce the need to hire employees who collect payments and serve customers – but it seems clear that technology, for better or worse, is going nowhere.

This has benefited startups like Baleconstac, which works with companies such as United Airlines, Amazon and Deloitte, to create QR code experiences for end customers. In a sign of business prosperity, Beaconstac today announced the closing of a $25 million Series A funding round led by Telescope Partners with participation from Accel.

Co-founder and CEO Sharat Potharaju said the new capital will be used to expand the startup’s team and product R&D.

Baleconstac

Picture credits: Baleconstac

“We have seen phenomenal growth since the start of the pandemic because our QR code technology provides businesses with an efficient and user-friendly solution to create contactless experiences,” Potharaju told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We are seeing more businesses continue to adopt this technology as it streamlines the customer experience. The pandemic has only amplified the existing need to better connect the physical and digital worlds.

Potharaju co-founded Beaconstac in 2019 alongside Ravi Maddimsetty. Potharaju is an investment banker by trade, having held positions at Merrill Lynch and Fieldstone Private Capital Group. Maddimsetty, a software engineer, was an IT associate at Morgan Stanley and contributed to open source Linux projects, including the GNOME office environment.

With Beaconstac, Potharaju and Maddimsetty sought to ride the wave of QR code adoption, creating a platform that allows businesses to create, manage and track QR codes across different physical touchpoints. Using Beaconstac, businesses can modify certain aspects of branded QR codes, including shape, captions, and background colors, to suit their design languages.

Beaconstac also allows businesses to create QR codes that track engagement, such as a customer’s location at the time of a scan. While not a feature that all customers are likely to be comfortable with, Potharaju says it helps companies acquire first-party data at a time when more platforms forms (see apple) are increasingly opposed to tracking. (Whether you agree with Potharaju depends on which side of the privacy debate you’re on, of course.)

“Beaconstac’s platform does not collect any personally identifiable information when a QR code is scanned – we comply with GDPR regulations for security and privacy,” Potharaju said. “Consumers can always request deletion of data in accordance with GDPR rules.”

While Beaconstac competes with vendors including Flowcode and Bit.ly, the company says it has more than 20,000 customers, double last year’s figure. Potharaju declined to share revenue figures, but said Beaconstac – which has offices in the United States and India – planned to double its workforce by 75 people later this year.

“In 2019, my co-founder and I were asking the question, ‘Our phones are great for connecting us online, but why aren’t they better for connecting us to the physical world?'” Potharaju said. “Beaconstac [is] help businesses… build digital cohorts based on interactions in the physical world.

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