London-based BeMyEye, one of a number of ‘mobile crowdsourcing’ apps that lets companies pay to have people carry out mobile tasks, such as photographing in-store promotions to ensure that are actually happening, has raised €6.5 million in Series B funding.
And, perhaps in recognition that the space is ripe for consolidation, the startup has acquired French competitor LocalEyes. The acquisition means that BeMyEye’s ‘crowd’ is now 250,000 person-strong and, according to the company, makes it the market leader in Europe for “real world mobile crowdsourced data insight”.
Terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed. However, my understanding is that it was an all-stock deal, and consists of 100 per cent of the business including LocalEyes’ team, user base (or ‘crowd), technology, and client base.
The startup’s founders, Livio Lumbroso and Colin Valière, are also staying on to play a part in BeMyEye’s growth going forwards. “In particular, Livio will be VP of Product for the group and Colin, LocalEyes’ CTO, will be driving the merger of the two platforms,” a spokesperson for BeMyEye tells me.
The company’s Series B investors are Nauta Capital, P101, and previous backer 360 Capital Partners. It will use the new capital for international growth and product development, including increasing the head-count of its technical team.
“Ultimately, we want to offer as many people as possible a new way to earn money and we want to improve the way they perceive work by making it fun, rewarding and on their terms. We are doing this by building Europe’s largest crowd of real world data gatherers, who earn money by completing gamified challenges set by businesses in their local area,” BeMyEye CEO Luca Pagano tells TechCrunch.
He also says the idea for the startup was informed by BeMyEye founder and Chairman Gian Luca Petrelli’s experience running the family olive oil business after it managed to secure a promotional campaign with Wholefoods. The problem is he had no easy way to see if the promotion had been correctly implemented or run at all. If only someone could have visited the store, taken a photograph and sent it to him…
To that end, the types of tasks that have been crowdsourced through BeMyEye include checking in-store promotions and prices, generating sales leads, and gathering street level data for mapping enrichment. “They are completed like a real-world game within the BeMyEye app. They require different skill levels. And the payoff is real money,” says Pagano.
Meanwhile, for the businesses that use the BeMyEye platform, the draw is that they get access to people and locations “with unparalleled precision” and, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, in a way that was “unthinkable only a few years ago”.