Updated at 2:39 p.m. Pacific with comment from Google.
Google has bought London startup Rangespan, which developed technology that can help retailers identify which products and services will be most in demand in the future.
Rangespan confirmed the acquisition on its website today. “We will continue to work on services for shoppers and retailers at Google, and we’re super excited about the opportunities to come,” the company wrote in a short note about the news.
But Rangespan will stop working directly with retailers and suppliers, according to the note. The company has worked with retailers like Tesco and Staples in the past.
The company has used data from lots of sources to help retailers figure out the best products and suppliers to choose. It’s a similar approach to how startups like Infer and RelateIQ help salespeople do their jobs more efficiently with the help of data.
“We founded Rangespan in 2011 to help retailers expand and optimise their product range in response to online market demand,” Rangespan founders Matt Henderson and Ryan Regan wrote on the company’s website. “We have found that the majority of retailers have difficulty rapidly adjusting their online product range because of manual work and uncertainty about which products are most likely to succeed. Our technology helps retailers solve that challenge. We track and rank hundreds of millions of products to provide retailers with better visibility of the range that they don’t already offer. Our supplier integration platform automates dropship supplier management and product setup tasks reducing the cost of range expansion.”
Rangespan’s technology could have the effect of increasing retailers’ sales. And now that benefit could transfer over to Google.
Rangespan employees will become part of Google’s shopping team and strive to bolster services for consumers and retailers, a Google spokesperson wrote in an email to VentureBeat.
Incidentally, at our DataBeat conference in San Francisco in a couple of weeks, we’ll be talking about how retailers and other companies can increase revenue or lessen their costs using data.
Rangespan announced a $5 million venture round in 2012. Investors include the venture team from Octopus Investments.
Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.