January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Funding Sweetens BeeLineShopper Money Pot

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

BeeLineShopper.com, which provides grocery shopping services that begin online and are completed in the store, says it has closed its first-round funding, bringing total seed and investment in the company to $750,000. Principals from Independent Delivery Services and Ivie & Associates, as well as other individual investors, contributed to the funding.

Troy, Ohio-based BeeLine provides shoppers with a free, cordless device to scan the bar codes of products in their homes. BeeLine matches the scanned items against specific store specials and prints out a customized shopping list when the device is inserted into a cradle attached to the user's home computer. The company claims that consumers can save between $20-$30 per week, and that they can save 30 minutes per trip because the list is in aisle sequence for a selected, participating store. To complete the discounted purchase, the cashier scans a barcode on the list.

The list also suggests healthier products and can be configured to take diets and food allergies into consideration. The device allows users to scan in coupons, and the list then reminds the consumer about which items to use them with. Special occasion such as birthdays can be programmed to appear on the list as a reminder to buy cake mixes and other ingredients.

The Web site also offers health and nutrition news. The service currently is being beta tested by grocery chains and wellness centers in the Midwest, BeeLine says.

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