Dublin retail software start-up rebrands after raising €1.5m

13 May 2022

VisionR founders Oran Mulvey and Shane O'Sullivan. Image: VisionR

VisionR, formerly known as Glimpse, provides brick-and-mortar retailers with insights into their customers without compromising privacy.

Last August, Dublin-based retail insights start-up Glimpse revealed plans to raise between €1.5m and €2m to help with its expansion plans.

Today (13 May), the company announced that it has secured €1.5m in a funding round led by Delta Partners, with backing by Movidius co-founder Sean Mitchell, Amici Ventures and Vincent Nolan, who is a former CIO for some of Ireland’s biggest retailers.

The start-up also revealed that it is rebranding to a new name, VisionR.

VisionR’s founders said the funding boost would be used to expand its development team and support its growth in Europe.

The company aims to give clients in the offline retail industry online insights. It works with brick-and-mortar retailers in the grocery, convenience and fashion spaces, with customers including Dulux Paints and BWG Foods.

It has also partnered with Spar International, which will roll out the company’s tech across its 13,500 stores in 48 countries.

VisionR uses a next-generation AI plug-in tool called The Scout to take data straight from a retailer’s shop floor so physical transactions and customer interactions can be logged and converted into online data that retailers can access.

“It’s focused on retailers,” co-founder Shane O’Sullivan explained to the Irish Times. “Retailers everywhere are used to getting rich datasets online from e-commerce, but those datasets don’t translate to their offline stores.

“The online stores can optimise layout using this data, they can reduced abandoned baskets, they can personalise shopping – all the stuff that maximises revenues. But for physical stores, the same optimisations can’t be done because that same data set has never existed when it comes to the physical store.”

The company uses computer vision and machine learning, and can capture customer data without using facial recognition. It uses facial detection instead so as not impinge on customer privacy, and the tech was developed in 2017 as GDPR came into law.

VisionR previously raised €550,000 in 2020 and has been backed by Enterprise Ireland.

The start-up has recently moved into new offices in Merrion Row in Dublin, which it hopes will give it room to expand further in the coming years.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.