Irish e-commerce start-up Pointy gets $6m funding from founders of Google Map and Bebo

Pointy, an Irish start-up that helps local retailers get their products online has raised $6m (£4.42m) in funding.

Pointy co-founders, Cummins (left) and Bibby
Pointy co-founders, Cummins (left) and Bibby

The round is being led by Frontline Ventures alongside Vulcan Capital, Draper Associates and a number of notable angel investors including Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, Lars Rasmussen co-founder of Google Maps, Taavet Hinrikus co-founder of Transferwise and Michael Birch co-founder of Bebo.

Pointy's service is built around the "Pointy Box", a device that connects to the store's barcode scanner and automatically puts scanned items on a website for the store.

These pages, hosted by Pointy, are optimised for search engines so when customers search for products they find results from local stores. 

So far, Pointy devices are used by local retailers across 48 US states and the store pages have appeared in search results tens of millions of times.

The company had previously raised a $1.2m seed round in 2015.

Pointy is led by co-founders Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby, who have previously founded successful startups. Cummins is known for co-founding Plink, a visual search engine company that was acquired by Google in 2010. Bibby, meanwhile, has worked on numerous large-scale robotics and hardware projects, including designing security systems for the 2012 Olympics. 

"The big difference with Pointy is that we do absolutely everything for the retailer. We did a lot of hard things behind the scenes to make it an experience that ‘just works’," Bibby said. "It’s inexpensive, takes five minutes to install, and doesn’t require any integration with existing POS systems."

Commenting on the raise, lead investor and partner at Frontline Ventures Will Prendergast said: "Pointy is the first big innovation for local retailers in years. There is a clear consumer desire to search products available in local stores but today it's not possible. Pointy have created a zero friction way of capturing that information which benefits both the store owners and consumers."

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