Startup Zapa Technology has raised €2.5m in funding to deploy contactless readers and 'Zapa Tags' that will showcase Ireland as "a model for the deployment and execution of NFC services".
Irish venture capital company Delta Partners has announced a €2.5m investment in Zapa Technology, a new company set up by payments systems entrepreneur John Nagle that plans to launch "pioneering customer loyalty technology in Europe, using near field communications over mobile phones."
Zapa's technology is designed to work with NFC handsets, once available, and will bridge the availability gap with 'Zapa Tags' that are placed "inside or outside your mobile phone". As well as distributing the tags, Zapa also plans to deploy contactless readers at the point of sale, "showcasing Ireland as a model for the deployment and execution of NFC services".
As well as the initial customer loyalty project, says Delta Partners, "the technology has the potential for many more applications, from the ability to redeem loyalty rewards from advertising posters to payment facilities. The Zapa Tag also delivers a new level of market intelligence back to the retailer in terms of customer profile."
Delta Partners plans to support Zapa in establishing its credentials in the near field communications business in Ireland, "with the intention of showcasing Ireland as a centre of excellence for the deployment and execution of NFC services in a scaled manner, reaching out to the wider and scaled markets of Europe."
"We are delighted to be backing Zapa, which is at the forefront of NFC applications," says Maurice Roche, general partner with Delta Partners. "This funding will help Zapa roll-out a number of unique applications, from customer loyalty schemes to NFC payments, and help them secure a leadership position in this market."
Details of how Zapa's technology works and of the business model it plans to employ are being kept under wraps for now but, Roche told NFCW, further announcements providing more detailed information are expected to be made during the third week of July.