Audience analysis technology company Glimpse is preparing for expansion as the company sets its sights on a €2 million fundraising round.
The Dublin-based company, which was founded by Oran Mulvey and Shane O’Sullivan, is planning to increase its staff numbers from the current six to 40 over the next three years as it targets the UK market. The new jobs will primarily be based in Ireland, where the company’s development takes place, but a small number of sales and support jobs will be created locally.
The funding round will bring the total raised by the company to more than €2.5 million, with previous backers including the team behind computer vision technology company Movidius, and retail tech expert Charles Bibby, who set up Pointy with Mark Cummins. Its customers include Honeywell, Grafton Group and Chadwicks.
The additional funding is expected to kickstart Glimpse’s push to raise its valuation and eventually target the US market, a plan that was previously put on hold as the Covid-19 pandemic caused a shutdown of non-essential retailers in various markets.
Glimpse’s solution allows bricks and mortar retailers to gain insights into their customers through its retail analytics platform that combines hardware and software to anonymously capture customer data. That gives retailers insights similar to their ecommerce rivals.
“The big issue in retail at the moment is e-commerce is beating them. One of the main reasons is data; e-commerce websites can make changes very quickly because they can understand bounce rates, where people are looking online and where they’re not,” said Mr Mulvey.
“We have this hardware-software combination that we install above a retailer’s front door and it has two technologies. The first is video analytics. When people walk in, it breaks them down based on footfall, age, gender, movement around the store, dwell times and product engagement.
“The second technology listens out for the anonymous signal being broadcast by mobile phones. What that allows us to understand is how long roughly people spend on site, which is shop duration and loyalty.”
That information can also be combined with retail systems to gauge how much customers are spending and what they are purchasing.
However, it has also been designed in such a way that it protects customer privacy, using facial detection models that identify shoppers by age and gender rather than facial recognition that would assign the image to a particular person.
The facial data is processed on the Glimpse device and is not saved. The phone identifiers are done by picking up unique identifiers linked to the wifi equipment in the smartphone.
Combined it can offer retailers a powerful tool with which to target their customers more accurately. Current rivals often deliver footfall data through a solution that is more complex to install. The Glimpse solution has a built in SIM card to transmit the data to an online platform and allows retailers to simply plug it in and walk away.
“It’s been a gap for years, and the gap tried to be filled by the old school footfall counter where it’s like the IR-beam, who’s coming in and out,” said Mr O’Sullivan. “We developed a technology that delivers the same level of reliable shopper data, except for brick and mortar stores, and completely independent from all of their existing infrastructure.”