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Originally published Monday, November 14, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Mobile shopping app Zoomingo snags $1.3M

The Bellevue company's apps help shoppers find and share sales in their area on fashion, beauty and home-goods items. Zoomingo posts deals from more than 25 large retailers and has contract workers in 10 major cities tracking sale items at smaller businesses.

Seattle Times business reporter

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Zoomingo, a Bellevue-based mobile shopping application, said Monday it had received $1.3 million from Naya Ventures, Benaroya Capital and several angel investors in its first round of funding.

The company's iPhone and Android application helps shoppers find and share sales in their area on fashion, beauty and home-goods items. Zoomingo posts deals from more than 25 large retailers and has contract workers in 10 major cities across the U.S. tracking sale items at smaller businesses.

The app also allows users to share bargains they find on their own.

Zoomingo will use the funding to develop the platform for retailers to provide sales data and cater deals to Zoomingo shoppers, as well as to place contract workers in other cities, said co-founder Shirish Nadkarni.

The application attempts to increase traffic and revenue for businesses with featured sales, a selling point for Benaroya.

"The stores will be willing to pay Zoomingo, because Zoomingo drives foot traffic into the stores," said John Carleton, director of venture capital at Benaroya Capital. "It's really good for the retail industry."

Similar applications require users to scan bar codes to compare prices, but Dayakar Puskoor, managing director of Naya Ventures, said Naya chose Zoomingo because it allows users to search for sales based on different categories, without being in the store.

Nadkarni and co-founder Krishnan Seshadrinathan launched the language-learning website Livemocha in 2007.

Nadkarni also founded the mobile email company TeamOn in 1999, which BlackBerry phone maker Research In Motion acquired.

Nadkarni said the costs of technology and marketing have decreased significantly since his first venture. He expects Zoomingo will need about $6 million to 8 million in additional funding, compared with the roughly $14 million it took to get TeamOn off the ground.

Online advertising, open-source software and lower costs for online hosting services such as Amazon Web Services have cut the costs of technology startups, Nadkarni said.

Zoomingo has about 10 employees at its Bellevue site, in the Factoria area..

Nadkarni said the company will look at creating iPad, BlackBerry and Windows smartphone applications in the future.

Alexis Krell: 206-464-3263 or akrell@seattletimes.com

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