Google is buying an Irish retail search startup called Pointy

Pointy founders Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby

Google is buying an Irish retail search startup called Pointy

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the acquisition price.

Pointy has created a small, physical box that plugs into local retailers' barcode scanners, tracks what they sell, and then displays what they have to potential customers looking up the business online.

Frontline Ventures, a Dublin-based venture capital firm, was the earliest investor in the start-up, which was founded by CEO Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby.

It is the fourth Irish startup that Google has acquired, having bought TCD campus companies Thrive in 2015 and Green Parrot Pictures in 2011.

Neither company has disclosed the value of the deal, but sources confirmed the accuracy of a TechCrunch report that Google will pay around $160m.

Pointy is headquartered in Dublin, and allows people to check what their local shops now have in stock.

In 2018, Pointy raised €10.2m in a Series B funding round. It was also backed by angel investors such as Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, TransferWise cofounder Taavet Hinrikus, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg.

When Business Insider covered Pointy in late 2018, we speculated that Google might buy the business.

What that means is that when you search for a cool jacket for your next party, instead of just throwing you Amazon's way, the search results will now show the most popular jackets from across the web, complete with smiling models, pricing, and everything.

"But local retailers have lost out in not having their products visible online and we solve that problem for them".

"It seemed insane to us that people had to wait two days for Amazon to deliver a product that could be 100 yards away in a local store". Pointy's platform enables stores to automatically turn their product listings into search ads, a capability that could help Google better target small businesses by simplifying the campaign creation process. "The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close in the coming weeks", he said.

Google (GOOG) on Tuesday announced that it is acquiring Pointy, an Irish start-up that helps local retailers compete with Amazon (AMZN), for an undisclosed sum.

"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", wrote Google senior director of SMB Product Peter Chane in a blog post.

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