Google acquires Pointy, the Irish retail startup behind its local Shopping feature

Pointy logo in a hand
Pointy logo in a hand (Image credit: Pointy)

What you need to know

  • Google is acquiring Irish retail startup firm Pointy in the coming weeks.
  • Pointy says that this deal will grant them "much larger scale."
  • The two companies had already partnered before with Google Shopping, allowing users to track product stock availability in local stores.

Google has entered into an agreement to acquire the Irish retail startup — Pointy. While you haven't heard of the company, you've probably already benefited from its technology several times. Pointy had previously partnered with Google in its own e-commerce efforts, allowing users to check local stores for stock availability.

For instance, let's say you wanted to buy a Pixel 4 somewhere in London or New York. You could search "Pixel 4", navigate to the Shopping tab, and filter to see its availability in local stores. Pointy's technology was what allowed Google to build out that feature-set.

Google's Peter Chane Senior Director, Local SMB Products explains:

With Pointy, merchants simply plug a small box into their barcode scanner or install the Pointy app on their point of sale system, which surfaces the products that they sell directly into the 'See what's in store' section of their business profile on Google Search. Since we introduced this functionality a few years ago, Pointy has been one of our key partners, helping thousands of local merchants display this data within Google.

While neither company has shared exactly what it plans to do post-purchase, Pointy notes that the acquisition will grant scalability and a larger reach, probably building out Google Search's shopping capability as well:

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.

The acquisition is expected to close within the following weeks.

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