Google is buying an Irish retail search startup called Pointy
- Google is acquiring Pointy, an Irish startup that helps people find out what their local stores have in physical stock.
- This is the second time Google has acquired a company cofounded by Irish serial entrepreneur Mark Cummins.
- Cummins was once rejected from a job at Google before going on to found his first startup Plink, and selling it to Google in 2010.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Google is acquiring a small Irish retail tech startup called Pointy for an undisclosed amount, the search giant confirmed on Tuesday. The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks.Pointy is headquartered in Dublin, and allows people to check what their local shops currently have in stock. The company has created the Pointy box, a piece of hardware that attaches to a shop owner's barcode scanner and logs what is being sold.Advertisement
Pointy's software tracks what a retailer is selling and can take a good guess as to when it's out of stock on a certain item. That stock information is then displayed on their Google business profile, so anyone trying to find a local shop that sells, for example scotch tape, can check whether it's available nearby.
Google said in a blogpost that the startup had been a key partner for several years, and that Pointy had made it easier for local retailers to showcase their offerings to shoppers searching on Google.One of the challenges small merchants face is getting their in-store inventory information online in a way that is easy to manage and reliably up to date. Since organizing the world's information is core to what we do, we've been working to make it easier for local merchants to better showcase their products to interested shoppers on Google.
Pointy had raised around $19 million in venture capital, and was also backed by angel investors such as Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, TransferWise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. In 2018, the startup boasted headcount of around 50.This is the second startup sold to Google by Pointy CEO and serial entrepreneur Mark Cummins. Cummins studied mobile robotics at the University of Oxford, and was once rejected from a job at Google. He went on to sell his visual search startup Plink to the search and ads giant in 2010.Cummins came up with Pointy while still working at Google, and quit the firm to set up the startup with cofounder Charles Bibby.Advertisement
When Business Insider covered Pointy in late 2018, we speculated that Google might buy the business. The startup relies on Google ranking its pages highly, and it's clear the kind of information the service offers would integrate well with local retail listings on Google Maps.
In a blogpost, Bibbin and Cummins wrote: "The last six years have been an incredible adventure, and today marks the start of a new chapter."From small beginnings, we're very proud to serve local retailers in almost every city and every town in the US and throughout Ireland. Many incredibly talented people have joined our team, we've received the backing of an amazing group of investors, and formed some fantastic partnerships. It is a great pleasure to work on something that helps local businesses in towns and cities everywhere."
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