Pointy’s $160m sale means $80m-plus payday for founders

Co-founders of retail tech innovator to share $80m and Jamie Heaslip also set to gain

Google has paid a reported $160 million (€144 million) for Dublin tech firm Pointy that will deliver an $80 million-plus payday for the company's founders.

Former Ireland rugby star Jamie Heaslip will also see a sparkling return on his investment in the business – one of several tech investments Mr Heaslip has made since retiring from sport.

Mr Heaslip, who had a 0.21 per cent interest in the retail technology business will receive $336,000 – many times the sum he originally invested.

Pointy helps small retailers get their merchandise in front of online audiences without having to invest in the sort of systems that the likes of Amazon and Walmart use to attract business.


Local vs online

The $750 kit is attached to the retailer’s barcode scanner and products are uploaded to the Pointy app as they are scanned, allowing people to find what they are looking for locally rather than forcing them to order online.

Founders Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby hold just over 51 per cent of the business, despite raising more than $19 million from outside investors in recent years.

Mr Cummins holds 26.3 per cent of the business and will receive just over $42 million. Mr Bibby, who holds his 24.8 per cent stake through a company in which his wife is also a shareholder, will get $39.7 million.

Early-stage investors

Among other early-stage investors were long-time supporter of Irish tech start-ups Noel Ruane as well as Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg and Lars Rasmussen, one of the founders of Google Maps.

A number of venture capital firms held stakes of close to 10 per cent in the business, including Frontline Venture, Polaris and Draper Associates.

Pointy is Google’s fourth acquisition in Ireland over the past decade.

It is Mr Cummins’ second Google payday. The US tech giant acquired a previous start-up, Plink, back in 2010 in what was its first deal in Britain or Ireland.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist