Small Empires: Hunting for spare parts and seed funding with Partpic

Let’s say you need to fix your vacuum cleaning robot, or even worse, the machine that makes your vacuum cleaning robot. You know which part is broken, but where do you go from there? Most of the time when the machine reaches the customer, it’s already assembled and the parts aren’t labeled at all. Without that crucial bit of info, it can be very difficult to explain to a sales rep exactly what you need, or find a replacement you can order on the web. Googling for “round, squiggly rubber thing with the metal edges” won’t help.

Partpic, a startup from Atlanta, Georgia, is hoping to solve that problem. Think of it as visual search for replacement parts. Snap some photos of the item with your phone and the app will try and match you to a…

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