The race to provide in-store analytics to retailers is heating up. On Wednesday, Brickstream acquired fellow in-store analytics platform Nomi in a no-cash deal. The valuation of the company post-merger is around $200 million, according to a source.
Online retailers have collected a wealth of data about their shoppers over the years -- where they come from, what devices they're using, what items they've looked at and purchased -- and the savviest of them have used that data to optimize and personalize the shopping experience for those customers. Now, brick-and-mortar retailers are getting in on the action. In the past three years especially, venture capitalists have poured money into companies like RetailNext ($59.4 million raised), Euclid ($23.6 million raised) and Nomi ($13 million raised), which provide hardware and software for retailers and other brick-and-mortar businesses to track when customers come in, where they go inside a store, how long they wait in line, and so forth. Combined with information collected about shoppers on their desktops, tablets and smartphones, retailers are getting a more comprehensive view of their customers than ever before.
By acquiring Nomi, Brickstream has become the largest player in the in-store analytics space, according to Nomi co-founder Wesley Barrow, with 70 partners and 100,000 devices deployed across brick-and-mortar environments. Barrow says the companies began working together over the summer; when Nomi was looking to raise its next round of venture capital, it started talking with Brickstream, and they realized the companies could do more than just partner, especially since they compliment each others' strengths and weaknesses so well -- Brickstream has a better hardware solution, and Nomi has superior software.
The acquisition should be a boon for retailers, says Barrow, because they no longer have to have a separate provider for the best hardware and for the best software in the space.