By: Brian Brus
Courtesy of The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s appropriate that investors have given WeGoLook a look and decided it’s worth a $1.75 million equity investment, co-founder Robin Smith said.
After all, the company was founded on the idea that individuals need a way to verify expensive purchases online. The original business model has expanded significantly since WeGoLook’s founding in 2010, however, when it was dedicated to support online sales portal eBay, Smith said. The company also provides accident site inspection and document delivery services through its nationwide network of more than 15,000 field agents known as lookers.
WeGoLook has grown beyond the Internet, Smith said.
“It didn’t take us very long to figure out that larger enterprise and corporate clients could utilize the service we offer with even larger repeat business bases,” she said. “Our agents can not only capture photos, video and measurements – they’re able to perform other tasks for clients in the field as we match up their levels of expertise and personal histories.
“So we’re involved in the leading edge of a true paradigm shift in how companies are using crowdsourcing,” she said. “And with the variety of services we can provide, companies can hire just one vendor now instead of five to perform multiple tasks within their industry.”
The Series-A investment round was led by $325,000 from the Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund and the OKAngel Sidecar Fund, each of which are investment funds managed by tech startup support agency i2E. The SeedStep Angels, a group of individual angel investors also managed by i2E, invested an additional $400,000. The SeedStep Angels is believed to be the state’s largest angel investment group with more than 40 members and chapters in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Ardmore and Muskogee. The Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund is a state-appropriated investment fund through the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Company founders provided $600,000 of their own funds with another $100,000 from other Oklahoma investors.
The investment round is helping the company upgrade its looker network and proprietary mobile technology. Agents can use a use a smartphone or tablet to upload the images and reports for clients immediately instead of waiting to return to an office, Smith said. That data has what’s known as a geotag to confirm exact location with a time and date stamp. The company recently received an important industry certification known as SSAE 16 SOC 1, which ensures that it meets data security specifications established by its corporate clients.
WeGoLook has forged partnerships with medical transport companies, insurance companies and equipment fleet managers, and Smith identified JPMorgan Chase as one of its larger clients. Professional lookers have now provide workforce solutions and logistics oversight. And WeGoLook has insinuated itself in its original target environment, becoming an eBay-affiliated partner for vehicle sales listings, providing certified auto inspections.
“We’ll launch on that contract in November,” she said. “It’s huge and will take us global pretty quickly.”
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