Irish start-up Pointy has raised $6m in its first significant round of venture capital financing. The company was established two years ago and aims to make it easier for bricks and mortar retailers to list their products online. It does this by connecting a small device to a shop's existing point of sale, which then automatically puts a product's details online as it is scanned.
"We're all about trying to solve a consumer problem, which is to make it possible to search for products online in local stores," said co-founder Charles Bibby. "We think it's crazy that you can search the internet in a few seconds and find a product online, but you might not know what's in a store around the corner."
That idea has been gaining traction in Ireland, with the company being used in shops in every county. Mr Bibby said they have also been used in around 14% of shops in the Dublin market at the moment. Building on that, Pointy is looking to grow internationally and, having already gained a foothold in the US market, it hopes the money it has raised will help to accelerate that growth.
"We're now in 48 states over there and growing fast," said Mr Bibby. "At the moment we've got 15 staff in Pointy and by the end of the year that will be 20. We expect in 12 months to double that number. We'll be hiring everywhere from sales and marketing to engineering and it really is to facilitate that growth overseas."
Amongst the latest list of investors is Vulcan Capital - the fund fund owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen - as well as angel investment from Matt Mullenweg, the founder of blogging site Wordpress, and rugby player Jamie Heaslip.
Mr Bibby says he isn't sure how much of the company they've had to hand over in order to receive that backing - but he says they now have a good spread of investor types from a variety of locations. "It's complicated to work out when you have dozens and dozens of investors involved," he said. "We've got US funds, European funds and Irish funds involved. It's definitely good to look Stateside [for funding], there tends to be more capital available over there, but you can do things in Ireland and Europe as well."
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