2014 Demo Day startup profiles: Floc
Floc forecasts foot traffic for retail operators to better manage their businesses and make the most of the crowds.
A smartphone app anonymously tracking urban cellphone data, Floc is initially focused on the hospitality sector. The software builds predictive models around how operators will be affected by pedestrian traffic over a given timeframe such as the next few hours, or days.
Major events such as stadium games, concerts, cruise ship arrivals and weather will all play a key role in driving data changes. “We can say things like, ‘tonight is going to be 20 per cent busier at 9pm than your average Saturday night,’” says founder Tim Grunshaw. Managers can then make better informed staffing and stock decisions accordingly.
Pivoting from an initial idea centred on online auction analytics, the Floc team saw an expansion opportunity around street-fronting businesses. “The retail space, hospitality in particular, is made up of a lot of potential customers who keenly understand this industry inefficiency and the pain of the unknown.
Improving on existing models of cellphone tracking, Grunshaw says Floc takes a wider view and gives business owners the big picture, improving visibility and forecasting ability. “We’re looking at a macro-view of what’s happening across the entire city. Instead of saying, ‘you have 30 people in your store,’ we can say, ‘there is going to be 30 people in your store.’”
To learn more about Lightning Lab’s Demo Day and see other startups involved in the programme, go here.