Google has acquired Dublin-based Pointy, which developed a solution to help traditional retailers compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon.
The companies did not disclose the sale price, but the two had developed a growing relationship around ecommerce.
“Over the past several years, we’ve developed a very close partnership with Google,” Pointy founders Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby wrote in a blog post. “It became clear that we shared the same vision of how technology can improve local retail businesses. So today is a natural next step in our journey. By joining forces, we will be able to help people discover local stores and products on a much larger scale. We think this is the right way to accomplish what we set out to do — to bring the world’s retailers online and give them the tools they need to thrive.”
As Amazon expands its physical footprint to bring items ever closer to people’s homes in order to speed delivery times, Pointy wanted to make it easier for consumers to find the same products in local stores. The problem has traditionally been that many of these local business either haven’t had their full inventory online or consumers have had to search numerous sites to discover whether a product was nearby.
Pointy bridged this gap with a small device that store owners can connect to their barcode scanner. As each item is scanned into inventory, it also gets uploaded to the website in a way that optimizes it for search.
That connection to search engines is key to product discovery. Over the last couple of years, Pointy has announced several integrations with Google services, including a See What’s In Store feature that displayed a retailer’s inventory on its search result, and Local Inventory Ads.
“Google has long been committed to helping small businesses grow and thrive in the online world,” wrote Google senior director of SMB Product Peter Chane in a blog post. “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 previously raised $19 million in venture capital, including a $12 million funding round in 2018.