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RFID Promotions Tracking Provider Gets $27M Funding

GOLIATH Solutions, a pioneer of RFID-based promotions tracking solutions, has announced $27 million in funding. The company's solutions are deployed in retail establishments to enable the real-time tracking of in-store promotion pieces (like point-of-sale or end-of-aisle displays), and the product sales that result from those promotions.
Tags: Retail
Apr 02, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 2, 2008—GOLIATH Solutions, a pioneer of RFID-based promotions tracking solutions, has announced $27 million in funding. The company's solutions are deployed in retail establishments to enable the real-time tracking of in-store promotion pieces (like point-of-sale or end-of-aisle displays), and the product sales that result from those promotions. The funding is split between a $16 million equity investment by Cordjia and The Walnut Group, and $11 million in debt commitments.

RFID Update first covered GOLIATH just over two years ago, when the company announced a major client win in the form of US pharmacy chain Walgreens (see Walgreens Deal Spells Promotions-Tracking Boon). The contract called for GOLIATH to equip all Walgreens locations around the US with its promotions tracking solution. CEO Bob Michelson told RFID Update that the original Walgreens roll-out schedule has slipped, but that it will be complete by the end of this year. A portion of the funding will be put toward that completion. The funding will also go toward GOLIATH's expansion into other retail channels, namely grocery, office, and specialty.

The last year has been a good one for GOLIATH. In particular, the company has gained a lot of traction among consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, who pay a subscription fee for access to the promotions tracking data that the GOLIATH solution generates in real time. "We have seen an avalanche of interest in and use of our data," said Michelson.

"Our CPG numbers have tripled in the last year," he added, saying that they now count about 40 CPG manufacturers as clients.

It hasn't been easy for the seven-year-old company, though. Michelson pointed out that their real-time promotions tracking solution represents an entirely new way of doing things. Traditionally, CPG manufacturers deploy auditors to physically visit a small subset of stores and check that promotion displays are in fact displayed according to the schedule negotiated between the retailer and manufacturer. That process, while labor intensive, expensive, error prone, and inaccurate, was firmly entrenched in the mindset of manufacturers. They haven't historically allocated part of their budgets to real-time promotions tracking.

GOLIATH has finally started to open their eyes to the possibilities, according to Michelson, who reiterated how attractive the store-level, real-time data can be. A manufacturer can almost immediately understand the impact on product sales of moving a promotional display from one section of the store to another, for example. "We have really helped create a new medium tracking mechanism," explained Michelson.

He expects that the company's years of evangelizing will start paying off. "Our time has now come," he said, predicting a 30 to 50 percent growth in their number of CPG subscribers in the coming year. "I do believe that within a couple years, [real-time promotions tracking] is going to become an industry standard."

Anecdotal evidence from the RFID industry would suggest that GOLIATH is indeed positioned well. Promotions tracking has been cited by such influential RFID adopters as Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart as a sweet spot of RFID adoption in the retail environment.

Read the announcement from GOLIATH Solutions
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