London-based BeMyEye, one of a number of âmobile crowdsourcingâ 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 â¬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 BeMyEyeâs âcrowdâ is now 250,000 person-strong and, according to the company, makes it the market leader in Europe for âreal world mobile crowdsourced data insightâ.
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 LocalEyesâ team, user base (or âcrowd), technology, and client base.
The startupâs founders, Livio Lumbroso and Colin ValiÃ¨re, are also staying on to play a part in BeMyEyeâs growth going forwards. âIn particular, Livio will be VP of Product for the group and Colin, LocalEyesâ CTO, will be driving the merger of the two platforms,â a spokesperson for BeMyEye tells me.
The companyâs 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.
âUltimately, 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 Europeâs largest crowd of real world data gatherers, who earn money by completing gamified challenges set by businesses in their local area,â BeMyEye CEO Luca Pagano tells TechCrunch.
He also says the idea for the startup was informed by BeMyEye founder and Chairman Gian Luca Petrelliâs 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 himâ¦
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. âThey are completed like a real-world game within the BeMyEye app. They require different skill levels. And the payoff is real money,â says Pagano.
Meanwhile, for the businesses that use the BeMyEye platform, the draw is that they get access to people and locations âwith unparalleled precisionâ and, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, in a way that was âunthinkable only a few years agoâ.