PayPal and Dunnhumby Ventures invest US$1.2m in Dublin’s Pulsate

28 Jan 2015

Dublin entrepreneur Patrick Leddy’s next-generation marketing company Pulsate has landed a US$1.2m investment in a round that includes PayPal and Dunnhumby Ventures as investors.

Pulsate focuses on the use of context marketing and employs technologies such as Apple’s iBeacon wireless communications platform to trigger the delivery of content to smartphones in order to finalise a sale in stores.

The round was led by Delta Partners’ Bank of Ireland seed fund and also included Enterprise Ireland.

“We are delighted to receive this US$1.2m in funding from such high-profile investors,” Leddy said.

“We will use the funds to accelerate the development of our product and to increase our business in the US.

“We are already attracting a lot of customers in this space and with this support we look forward to becoming the industry leader in context marketing.”

Leddy previously ran app creation business Furious Tribe and in November, he represented Ireland at the World Start-up Competition in Korea.

How iBeacons and geofencing could change shopping forever

Patrick Leddy, founder and CEO, Pulsate holding an Apple iBeacon

Leddy’s company Pulsate focuses on bringing iBeacon technology to large retailers, as well as venues and transport providers.

iBeacon works on Bluetooth Low Energy, also known as Bluetooth Smart, and enables small wireless location-aware sensor beacons to pinpoint users’ location in a store and send notifications of items nearby that are on sale, for example.

Apple devices running iOS 7 and iOS 8 and Mac OS X Mavericks and Yosemite with Bluetooth 4.0 are capable of interacting with the technology, which is seen as an alternative to near field communication (NFC).

The technology is believed to be capable of detecting a device’s location far more precisely than GPS.

iBeacons can be used to tell shoppers that their order is ready for collection and direct them to the right location.

Apple is in the process of rolling out iBeacons across 245 stores in the US and it has already installed 20 iBeacons at its Fifth Avenue store in New York.

The technology is being tested by Major League Baseball stadiums in the US to push content, such as video, to the public depending on their precise location.

In London, digital publishing company Exact Editions has created an iBeacon service for publishers that allows them to offer magazine apps free of charge to the public at particular locations as a promotional tool for cafés and hotels.

Mobile shopping image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years