Google buys Irish tech firm Pointy for $163m

Pointy makes software that enables small retailers to put their stock online- without the need for a full e-commerce system

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

It is also the second startup that Mr Cummins has sold to the search giant, having seen a previous firm, Plink, snapped up by Google in 2010.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 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 US tech news service TechCrunch reported that the acquisition would be completed for €147m, citing "a source close to the deal".

Pointy is headquartered in Dublin, and allows people to check what their local shops now have in stock. To use Pointy's system, retailers can either attach a peripheral to barcode scanners or install the company's app directly on their point of sale system. It estimates what and how many items are in stock by analyzing customer purchases. That stock information is then displayed on a dedicated Pointy page and on their Google business profile, so anyone trying to find a local shop that sells, for example scotch tape, can check whether it's available nearby.

"Today, we're excited to share that we've entered into an agreement to acquire Pointy, a company based in Dublin, Ireland that has helped thousands of local retailers bring their product inventory online".


The start-up has raised more than $18m in total since it was founded, including from other firms such as Polaris Partners and Vulcan Ventures.

Its early investors included Frontline Ventures, as well as the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Bebo, Michael Birch, and the co-founder of Transferwise, Taavet Hinrikus. Cummins studied mobile robotics at the University of Oxford, and was once rejected from a job at Google.

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

This ensures that search results for local retailers are shown alongside those from e-commerce giants like Amazon.

This is a developing story... Many incredibly talented people have joined our team, we've received the backing of an awesome group of investors, and formed some fantastic partnerships.

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