TapMap, a Galway and Silicon Valley-based company, has been named as one of three winners in the 2011 International Expo out of 34 start-ups from 16 countries worldwide.
The iExpo, which is run from the heart of Silicon Valley in California by the Plug and Play Tech Centre, one of Silicon Valley’s leading incubators for new start-up technology companies.
The award was given to companies who ‘pitched’ their ideas in front of an audience of 400 people, and voted on by 60 venture capital investors.
“This is an overwhelming honour for all of us at TapMap,” said TapMap’s CEO Philip McNamara.
“As one of only three chosen out of more than 35 international companies from 16 countries to receive the iExpo award, we are certainly in impressive company. This is further confirmation that the future is what we make of it – both for TapMap and for retailers that we work with.”
TapMap enables retailers to publish all of their in-shop products on mobile devices. The company works with retailers like Evergreen Health Foods, O’Briens Wines, Unicare Pharmacy and GameStop.
The Irish company’s partners include Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Oracle. The data gets published through partnerships with app developers such as Red Laser and Shop Savvy.
The company is in the process of raising $1.5m and was recently featured on ABC News in California.
TapMap builds a database of products that consumers can access on a mobile phone. TapMap helps physical retailers sell more products by publishing the retailers’ real-time in-stock inventory on a variety of web-enabled devices.
This lets consumers know if a product they want is in stock at the moment when they’re shopping for it.
Consumers can download a free app on the iPhone or Android phone called ShopSavvy, which enables customers to comparison shop on the go, simply by scanning any product’s barcode using the phone’s built-in camera.
Using the barcode information, ShopSavvy searches the web and local shops for the product, and displays the stores where a customer can find that product in nearby shops. ShopSavvy looks up product reviews to further assist with purchase decisions.
McNamara said the company doesn’t scrape data. It gets it directly from a retailer’s electronic inventory system in real time. Right now, it displays that inventory for consumers. In the future, it will provide demand analysis trends and forecasts for retailers.
TapMap makes money from retailers, marketing agencies and ad agencies. It charges them a fee to access analytics on live product demand. The market potential is big, since TapMap reduces the need for advertising.
Retailers spend US$60bn on advertising in the US alone, McNamara added.