Veted raises $15 million for AI-powered product research

Product search engine Checked raised $15 million in a Series A led by Insight Partners, the company announced on Tuesday.

Vetted, formerly known as Luster, uses artificial intelligence to help online shoppers find the products they’re looking for that are most recommended by other users. The company, which was founded in 2019, uses reviews from platforms including YouTube, Reddit and review websites to recommend products, according to a company press release.

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“Shoppers shouldn’t have to spend hours browsing indistinguishable products littered with thousands of ad-infested sites loaded with fake reviews and unreliable information,” said the Vetted co-founder. Stuart Kearney said in a statement.

“That’s why we’re building Vetted. Our users receive a smart guide aligned with their best interests, turning e-commerce into the simple, reliable experience everyone wants – especially today, where every dollar counts.

Online shopping has seen a boom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more consumers buying everything from clothes to groceries online. But researching items, like consumer electronics, often comes with reading multiple buyer reviews, as well as recommendations from review websites, like Wirecutter. It is not uncommon for buyers to have to do their own research before choosing a product.

More than 330,000 online shoppers have used Vetted, and users buy Vetted-recommended products 70% of the time, according to Hanna Jung, the company’s vice president of marketing. Jung added that users are “also asking for help beyond our original focus on consumer electronics.”

The new Series A funding will help San Francisco-based Vetted expand its product and retailer coverage into other areas, Jung added in his statement.

Last verified raised a funding round in August 2020, according to Crunchbase. The company is backed by investors including Index Ventures, Golden Ventures, and Capital Bling.

Drawing: Dom Guzman

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