Jack Abraham never enjoyed shopping online. One thing he disliked even more was calling retailers to see if an item was in stock, only to be put on hold for what seemed an eternity.

Abraham came up with the idea for a website that would let users search for products in stock at local stores in real time.

According to Businessweek, after raising more than $400,000 from investors, including his professor at the Wharton School of Business, Abraham moved from Philadelphia to Palo Alto, Calif., in November 2008 to launch Milo. He later hired Chief Technology Officer John Evans and lead engineer Ted Dziuba, a Google veteran.

The website taps into the inventory systems of more than 50,000 stores, including Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, and Home Depot, to let customers know where an item they’re searching for is in stock.

Milo gets a commission from retailers when its visitors click through to their sites or use Milo to buy things that customers then pick up at the stores.

The company has a staff of 25 and raised $4 million from early-stage venture capital firms and angel investors. Abraham says Milo had revenue of less than $500,000 in 2009 and projects around $1 million for 2010.

Photo by Milo.