Magarac Venture Partners Leads Funding Round for New Retail Startup, Netail
World-renowned AI visionary and CMU Alum Andrew Ng of Coursera and Google Brain has chosen Pittsburgh as the home base for new AI business
Magarac Venture Partners (MVP), a Pittsburgh-based venture capital firm focused on partnering with forward-thinking entrepreneurs to shape the future through technology, announced the closing of a $5M seed round for Netail. This new AI technology enables retailers to auto-identify competitors across the internet and track their assortments, availability and pricing in real-time. Developed in concert with Landing AI, Netail will use the funding to enhance current product offerings and expand the current team of retail, AI, and software engineers with Pittsburgh-based talent.
“At Magarac, we look for companies like Netail that have an eye to the future. In this case, as retail is changing before our eyes, Netail’s AI will provide retailers with actionable data that they can’t get any other way,” said Jay Katarincic, Partner at MVP. “We are thrilled to partner with Mark and Andrew on this next stage of the company and look forward to supporting the next generation of Pittsburgh-based entrepreneurs.”
Netail’s funding comes at a time when U.S. retail e-commerce sales are expected to top $7.9 trillion in 2026, according to a forecast from Statista. Consumer behavior has changed, and the majority of purchase decisions are now made online via searches, marketplaces, and social media. Last year, retail sales in the United States alone valued at $6.58 trillion.
Founded in 2021 by Mike Stubler, Jay Katarincic, Zach Malone (former colleagues at Draper Triangle Ventures) and Will Allen, MVP is committed to supporting entrepreneurs in the Midwest and engages deeply with founders to help lay the foundation for long-term success through signature company-building skills while providing a vast range of resources.
“As shopping has been transformed, retailers need to recognize that their competitive universe has expanded a thousand-fold and as a result, competitive pricing, features, availability, and convenience are central to a daily battle to win each and every customer,” said Netail CEO Mark Chrystal. “We are extremely appreciative to have the support of the Magarac team and look forward to building the next generation of retail.”
Chrystal will now develop Netail’s breakthrough artificial intelligence (AI) technology in Pittsburgh, the home of Carnegie Mellon University, while retaining a presence in Palo Alto. A town once at the center of the American steel industry, Pittsburgh is now a hub for technology, manufacturing, healthcare and education. Channeling this unique blend of AI and machine learning talent originating from Carnegie Mellon, Netail will increase recruitment in the greater Pittsburgh region to help drive growth, innovation and job creation.