21 Sep 2017 | 07.05 am
Dublin Tech Firm Pointy Raises $6m
Backers include Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg
21 Sep 2017 | 07.05 am
Dublin-based tech startup Pointy has raised $6m in Series A funding, in a round led by Frontline Ventures. Other backers include Vulcan Capital, Draper Associates, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg and Irish rugby player Jamie Heaslip.
Pointy raised a $1.2m seed round in 2015. The company, which was launched in 2015, is led by Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby.
Pointy enables retailers to create a website listing all of their products in minutes by connecting its ‘Pointy Box’ technology with the retailer’s existing barcode scanner and point of sale system. The retailer scans the products and they appear on the retailer’s Pointy page automatically.
Pointy also helps retailers to come up on search engines so that customers can more easily find them. Customers, meanwhile, can use Pointy’s app to find products they need from local shops.
The two Pointy founders met each other while completing their PhDs in Robotics at Oxford. After graduating, Cummins co-founded Plink, a visual search engine company that was acquired by Google in 2010. Bibby has worked on various large-scale robotics and hardware projects, including designing security systems for the 2012 Olympics.
Pointy has been focusing on US market expansion since its launch. “The retailer response has been amazing,” said Cummins. “Pointy devices are now being used by retailers everywhere from Achill Island to North Dakota.” Pointy has users across 48 US states, as well as every county in Ireland and across the UK.
“For many local retailers, keeping up with technology can feel like too much,” Cummins continued. “But consumers increasingly expect to find everything on their smartphones. If someone takes out their phone to search for a product they want to buy, they’re likely to see a result from Amazon, even if a local shop 50 feet away has the product in stock. It’s a frustrating for retailers and consumers alike. Pointy is solving that problem in a way that’s effortless for retailers.”
Will Prendergast, lead investor and partner at Frontline Ventures, said that Pointy is the first big innovation for local retailers in years. “Pointy have created a zero friction way of capturing information which benefits both the store owners and consumers. I believe Pointy will lead to new consumer purchasing behaviour in the coming years,” he said.
Other investors in Pointy’s latest fundraiser include LocalGlobe, Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Transferwise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and Michael Birch, co-founder of Bebo.
Pointy’s operating company, Pomo Search Le, booked startup losses of €726,000 in 2016, bringing accumulated losses to €1.4m.
Photo: Pointy founders Mark Cummins (left) and Charles Bibby