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Google just bought a startup that will help it list physical stores’ products online

Google just bought a startup that will help it list physical stores’ products online


The deal for Dublin-based Pointy will close in the coming weeks

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is expanding its grasp on retailers. In a blog post today, Google announced that it’s purchased Pointy, a Dublin-based startup that helps local retailers sell their products online. The deal is expected to close in the weeks to come.

Currently, Pointy allows sellers to either use an app or special bar code scanner to keep up-to-date inventory information on in-store products. That way, a shopper could more easily purchase a product online and pick it up in-store, rather than going with a larger retailer like Amazon or Walmart. Google Shopping already does inventory listings for nearby brick-and-mortar stores, so it makes sense it would want to improve how it gathers that data to ensure it’s as accurate and comprehensive as possible.

“One of the challenges small merchants face is getting their in-store inventory information online in a way that is easy to manage and reliably up to date,” reads Google’s announcement post. “Since organizing the world’s information is core to what we do, we’ve been working to make it easier for local merchants to better showcase their products to interested shoppers on Google.”

Neither Google nor Pointy disclosed the deal amount, but Yahoo Finance reports that the acquisition is a $163M deal. “By joining forces, we will be able to help people discover local stores and products on a much larger scale,” said Pointy’s founders in a statement. “We think this is the right way to accomplish what we set out to do — to bring the world’s retailers online and give them the tools they need to thrive.”