5mins with Hoxton Analytics
We hear from Duncan Mann, Chief Operating Officer at Hoxton Analytics– one of the ten Discovering Start-Ups Competition finalists in preparation for next week! Owen, their CEO & Co-Founder will be the one doing the all important pitch!
Send us a picture of your team, your work space or your product
Are you finding it tricky to recruit talent?
So far we’ve been very lucky. The right people have been available at the right time, which is particularly fortuitous given the tech-based nature of the product. It’s hard to get the balance of strong commercial and technical expertise, but we hope we can continue our success moving forward. We’ve also been able to fill gaps in our in-house expertise through partnerships with larger organisations, whether it’s our top-tier investors or large corporates such as Cisco, where we have a close working relationship.
Tell us about your product/service – what was the need you saw?
Around 90% of retail sales are in-store. To replicate the success of on-line analytics in growing sales, retailers are turning to in-store data, creating a multi-billion dollar in-store analytics industry. Other solutions (e.g. facial recognition, phone tracking) often struggle with accuracy and certainly with privacy invasion. We wanted to gather accurate, rich data whilst protecting the customer.
We deploy multiple discreet sensors close to the floor, with cameras pointing across the ground. From this, we accurately count footfall (we audit weekly at over 95% accuracy) and gather demographic information (such as gender), based on the shoes falling within the field of view of the camera. This is our proprietary technology, running on cutting edge machine-learning and computer vision algorithms.
What technology innovations do you expect to see unfold going into 2017?
We expect to see a shift in the way consumers manage their own data. Particularly given the GDPR and other privacy regulations coming into effect over the next two years. Data on consumers has been shown to be hugely valuable, and as restrictions come into play on how you gather that, there is an opportunity for exciting innovations.
Share a key lesson you have learnt over the last year?
There’s a 90% correlation between shoe size and gender!
What’s your tip to stay informed about your industry?
Don’t say no to good events. I think once you get recognition and momentum, it’s tempting to believe everything you do is right, or that you don’t need to keep putting yourself out there. In fact, it’s all a big, slow snowball, and you need to keep pushing, pitching, speaking to investors – every time you do, you find something new about the way people perceive the industry and what they’re looking for.
How would you describe life in a start-up ?
It’s dynamic and exciting, but you do also feel exposed. Unlike some of the big companies we came from before, you have to take risks, but you actually make a tangible impact with everything you do. We’re also lucky to have a team that loves mucking in and chatting through decisions, whether technical or commercial.