Dublin retail technology startup Pointy, which is valued at €160 million, is to be acquired by Google – the second time co-founder Mark Cummins has sold a company to the tech giant.
In 2010, Cummins sold a separate startup, Plink, to Google.
The firm’s ‘Pointy Box’ connects to a shop’s barcode scanner and automatically lists the shop’s products online, optimising them for search engines. The idea is that when people search for products, they find results from local stores instead of simply on Amazon or other giant online specialists.
In 2018, Pointy raised $12 million(€10.2 million) in a Series B funding round. At that time, the main investor was Noel Ruane’s Polaris Partners, with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen also investing through his Vulcan Capital firm.
In total, Pointy raised €116.2 million in funding.
Its early investors included the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Bebo, Michael Birch and the co-founder of Transferwise, Taavet Hinrikus. Dublin-based Frontline Ventures is also a prominent investor.
Google Swoops In
Google swooped in when it saw that Pointy was starting to gain traction in US retailers.
In Dublin alone 15% of all stores use Pointy, while in the US the firm serves 7,000 stores across all 50 states.
Speaking at the launch of Pointy’s partnership with Retail Excellence in 2018, Mark Cummins said that, for many local retailers, keeping up with technological changes can be hard to do, in addition to running a store.
“Retailers just don’t have the time to create digital stores as well,” he said.
“But most customer journeys now start with a search on a mobile phone. If someone takes out their phone to search for a product they want to buy, they often only see results from big eCommerce companies, even if a local shop 100 metres away has the product in stock. It's frustrating for local retailers and consumers alike. Pointy is solving that problem in a way that's effortless for retailers.”
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Maev Martin. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.