London-headquartered BeMyEye has made another acquisition, its third in a little over three years. This time the retail execution monitoring service is purchasing Russian crowdsourcing and image recognition provider Streetbee.
The acquisition will see BeMyEye launch “Perfect Shelf,” which will use image recognition technology to lower the cost for consumer goods companies wanting to get “objective and actionable” in-store insights. These will typically include share of shelf and planogram compliance (the specific placement of products on a store shelf).
More broadly, BeMyEye offers a platform to enable companies and brands to crowdsource various in-store data. This can include checking availability (i.e. stock levels) of a particular product, how prominently an item is displayed or whether or not it is being marketed or sold in the way retailers and staff have been instructed.
Tasks are sent out to paid members of the public via the BeMyEye app, which could include taking a photo and “checking in” using geolocation as proof that it has been carried out, with the results anonymised and passed on to BeMyEye’s clients. One way to think about the proposition is as a much more scalable version of employing “secret shoppers.”
Augmenting these human data gatherers with image recognition technology can speed up data processing and, presumably, make a proposition like BeMyEye even more scalable.
Luca Pagano, CEO of BeMyEye, comments: “Field forces should not be burdened with data collection tasks, instead they should be empowered with action orientated in-store insights so they can focus 100 percent on selling and taking remedial action when and where it is needed. Perfect Shelf enables consumer goods companies to adopt a lean go-to-market strategy, progressively eliminating waste and enhancing field performance at a time when they are under huge pressure to find growth and demonstrate a positive ROI on their field force investments.”
The acquisition also extends BeMyEye’s reach to Russia and the CIS countries. With existing coverage in Europe, the combined companies claim aggregate crowds of more than 1.5 million data gatherers, which will enable consumer goods companies to get a consistent view of in-store performance in 21 countries.
Meanwhile, BeMyEye isn’t disclosing the exact terms of the acquisition, although I understand it is an all-stock deal. The entire Streetbee business is being acquired, including the 50-person team, IP and technology. As part of this, the Streetbee founders will be joining BeMyEye in senior roles: Andrey Elisev is joining as CMO, Kirill Nepomnyashchiy is joining as VP Sales Russia and CIS and Vladimir Lyzo is joining as head of Image Recognition Development.
This news comes after BeMyEye’s acquisition of its largest French competitor, LocalEyes, in 2016, and U.K. operator Task360 in 2017.