Monday 22 January 2018

Von Bismark works on new e-commerce platform for Xbox

ECOMMERCE: Eoghan O'Sullivan of Von Bismark
ECOMMERCE: Eoghan O'Sullivan of Von Bismark
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

An Enterprise Ireland-backed software company is creating a massive e-commerce platform for XBox.

Von Bismark, the startup which was founded by twentysomething Dublin City University graduate Eoghan O'Sullivan, is building an app called The Mall for Xbox. It is about to go live in the UK and the United States.

The Irish startup company has the sole exploration rights to develop the shopping platform for Xbox One, which has sold more than 10 million units globally.

Owner Microsoft wants to take advantage of this huge pool of potential customers and create a shopping platform to rival Amazon

Uniquely, the app will allow shoppers to "try on" and get a sense of the size of items they are buying, using Xbox Kinect's 3D technology.

"We are initially launching for clothing but in 12 to 24 months will roll out other items. Anything that we can help you visualise can be sold," said O'Sullivan.

Five retailers have already been signed up by The Mall, including a gaming merchandiser, a sports clothing retailer, male and female high street retailers and a fitness fashion line.

"There is more entertainment consumed via Xbox now than gaming," said O'Sullivan. "The average user keeps it on for five hours.

"It has become a media hub in the home".

Von Bismark was set up in 2011 as part of NDRC's Launchpad programme, a university-backed accelerator for new companies.

It was accepted onto Enterprise Ireland's high- potential start-up fund in 2013, receiving a €250,000 cash injection in exchange for a modest equity stake.

Other investors include the Dublin-based Lucey Technology Fund, which has also invested in medical software company MedXNote.

Von Bismark will be seeking pre-series A funding in the next 12 months - which means between €500,000 and €2m in funding. This will be followed by a larger fundraising effort to finance the expansion required by the Xbox deal.

Sunday Indo Business

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