Dublin-based Glimpse sets its eyes on UK market

23 Aug 2021

Image: © Andris Piebalgs/Stock.adobe.com

The customer behavioural analysis start-up is raising between €1.5m and €2m to help it ‘expand aggressively’ in the UK market.

Irish start-up Glimpse is looking to expand its services with a fresh round of funding, which the company hopes will allow it to even the playing field in the UK between in-person stores and online retailers.

Using cameras and sensors, Glimpse’s tech provides analysis for retailers regarding shopper footfall, age, gender, their movement in-store and their movement between stores. It analyses the movement of individuals in the store and anonymous signals being sent from a shopper’s phone.

This data is then made available to the retailer to offer comparable analysis to data available to online retailers.

The goal is to measure customer engagement and optimise product location and available merchandise. By analysing the data and presenting it to the retailer from an online interactive dashboard, businesses using Glimpse can make incremental changes and see the results in real time.

While Dublin-based Glimpse currently operates in Ireland and the UK, co-founder Shane O’Sullivan told Siliconrepublic.com that the new round of funding would help the company “expand more aggressively in the UK market”. It is currently raising between €1.5m and €2m in seed-plus funding.

It comes after the start-up raised €550,000 in 2020 from backers including Enterprise Ireland, Charles Bibby from Pointy and Chris Donnelly, the CTO of BWG Foods.

“Glimpse was created with consumer privacy at the heart of its technology. No identifiable consumer data is ever stored by Glimpse, only insightful crowd metrics. No images or videos are ever stored, and no shoppers can be identified, even by repeat exposure through video analytics,” O’Sullivan said.

“To ensure shopper privacy when Glimpse analyses the Wi-Fi signals being broadcast by shoppers phones, a hash, or encryption, is applied at the source so that it does not relate to any individual. Instead, at the end of each day the retailers get a breakdown similar to 1,000 shoppers today, 40pc shopped twice this week, the average shop duration today was 15 minutes. Simple, insightful and anonymous.”

Glimpse, which won the Bolton Trust-PwC Innovation Award in 2019, wants to “lead the charge” when it comes to consumer privacy and educating the public on how this kind of technology operates within GDPR, O’Sullivan added.

He said the company ensures its customers communicate the use of Glimpse technology to their staff and customers in whatever medium they find most appropriate.

Donnelly from BWG Foods added: “The future is phygital [physical-digital blend], there is no bricks and mortar versus pure online play, there is only omnichannel. Traditional bricks and mortar retailers need to get smarter faster.

“Glimpse allows us to measure our stores and customer journeys with the same precision as the online analytics that drives the virtual world. The use cases are staking up faster than the shelves and Glimpse levels the playing field.”

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news