AIB Discovery Programme Announces New Investment in Pointy

AIB's Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms Banking, John O’Dwyer with Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby and the Pointy team outside Donnybrook Bikes with a bicycle.

AIB and Frontline Ventures have invested in Pointy, a new technology company set up by Mark Cummins and Charles Bibby, to help independent retailers get online fast.

In just five minutes, Pointly allows retailers to create a website listing for all of their products by connecting its technology with the retailer’s existing barcode scanner and point of sale system. Their products appear automatically on their Pointly page after they scan them and this helps people find products in their local shops on their smartphone or other device.

Cummins said: “Almost 90 per cent of commerce is still conducted offline; the internet hasn’t really touched it yet. Finding products locally should be as easy as finding them on Amazon, but the reality is that many independent retailers don’t have their products listed anywhere. Pointy solves that problem by making every product in every local shop searchable.”

“Our aim was to make it incredibly easy. The shop just plugs the Pointy device in and we take care of the rest. We’ve had shops set up and go live with thousands of products in less than five minutes,” Cummins added.

Andrew Verbovsky, founder of Donnybrook Bikes in Dublin, is using Pointy. “Pointy allows me to show what we sell online with minimum hassle and helps us rank higher on search engines such as Google. Now, I just scan what I have in stock and it’s instantly visible on the website. Pointy helps local retailers like me get shoppers through the door, and helps consumers find what they’re looking for locally.’’

Pointy is the latest recipient of funding from the AIB Discovery Programmewhich is designed to support the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in Ireland. The €2m programme is aimed at providing 20 high-potential start-up founders with up to €100,000 to validate a large, potential market need. These companies are supported at concept stage when funding, resources, and mentorship are traditionally hard to source. This programme forms part of the Frontline Ventures l Fund Partnership of €40m.

AIB’s Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms Banking, John O’Dwyer, said: “Irish consumers are spending an estimated €6 billion online per annum of which only 40% is being kept in Ireland. A key objective of the Government’s National Digital Strategy is to help local retailers capture more of this market and Pointy’s innovative device is addressing that very need by taking the complexity out of e-commerce for local retailers. There is a potential market of €3.6 billion in online sales that currently leaks out of Ireland. Pointy can help Irish retailers target some of those sales.”

Will Prendergast, Partner of Frontline Ventures, said: “Ireland has shown it can produce entrepreneurs who have the ambition to disrupt entire industries. The AIB Discovery programme is designed to support entrepreneurs of that level of ambition when they need resources to complete customer discovery.”