DURHAM – The retail storytelling startup Looma, headquartered in Durham, is expanding again.  This time, it’s across the state of Texas.

According to a statement, the company will roll out its platform, Loop™, to approximately 120 H-E-B stores across the Lone Star state.

Here’s how it works: the video platform is installed at the “point-of-decision” in a grocery store’s display, sharing high-quality personal stories that showcase the company and the product.

This latest expansion follows an installation of the company’s platform across the Midwest in 2021, through Schnuck Markets.

Texas is a new addition for the company, which said in a statement that there are more than one thousand active tablets installed across their retail programs.  In the Carolinas, the company has installed displays at some Harris Teeter stores and at some Lowes Food stores.

Durham storytelling startup Looma expanding to midwest, growing team

Still room for retail

The company believes that even with a shift in consumer behavior toward e-commerce, there is room for retailers to re-orient the value propositions to customers, enhancing the in-store experience by adding “discovery, education, and a sense of connection.”

Ned Brown, the chief story officer for the company, told WRAL TechWire in August 2021 that the firm had raised $2.2 million in its latest round.  Brown also noted that the company planned to hire additional workers to help fuel the company’s expansion in the Midwest.

That $2.2 million surpassed the reported $1.1 million the company disclosed on an SEC filing.  Prior funding also came in a $375,000 seed round led by Triangle firm Cofounders Capital.

The company was founded by Cole Johnson while Johnson was completing undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Johnson told WRAL TechWire in 2020 that the company believes that there exists a “growing number of consumers want to know the people and stories behind their products” and that this will spur a “fundamental shift in video advertising over the next decade.”

“Our vision is to build the world’s most insightful and actionable platform for a narrow but growing niche we define as “human-centric point-of-decision video,”” Johnson told WRAL TechWire in 2020.

Investors line up to pour $1.1M into Durham retail tech startup Looma