Nola, a computer vision startup that helps companies estimate where people will be and when, in addition to helping clients find the shortest queues at events, has raised $200,000 from VC and accelerator program Skalata Ventures.
Co-founder Victoria Zorin came up with the idea three years ago when her frustration mounted while she was stuck in line for an hour music festival, want a solution to avoid them
She took a deep dive into visitor analytics and realized there was a gap in solutions that can offer both rich data and privacy.
Nola is a “anonymous-by-design” SaaS platform that analyzes live video feeds or historical footage to provide insights on visitor numbers, marketing engagement, and queues and waiting times. It can be used to measure and optimize the visitor experience in shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Zorin said Nola makes it easy for locations and retailers to gain historical and real-time visibility into key operational tasks with no setup required.
“This removes the guesswork from tasks like signage, staff rosters and measuring marketing effectiveness,” she said.
“With an ever-increasing backlash against global surveillance, Nola provides a cost-effective, ethical visitor analytics platform for companies that value the privacy of their customers.”
The anonymous-by-design aspect avoids the pitfalls of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and facial recognition cameras, Zorin adds.
“This means Nola does not track or store any form of unique identifier, manage risks to the organization and protect customers,” she says.
“Without worrying about privacy, customers can focus on Nola’s high customizability and rich data. The platform can be set up to provide alerts for relevant metrics, such as notifying staff when there are queues too long.”
Last year Nola teamed up with NSW music festival Yours & Owls, where they used temporary cameras to monitor queue length, speed and wait times.
“The client had real-time data and a live traffic map available via an app, allowing the event organizers to move staff reactively through the location and better manage customer flow,” said Zorin.
Looking ahead, she said Nola gets smarter by training herself on data feeds, and the result is more accuracy, insights and automation, and she sees are predictive capabilities as the future.
“Nola will soon be able to tell you how many customers will visit your store next week, and even integrate external data such as weather and holidays to predict behavior and help companies plan for peaks or low-traffic days,” she said.
Skalata Investment Manager Tom Smalley appreciates that Nola is a real answer to the problem product that is not easy to imitate.
“It’s like Google Analytics for the physical world. E-commerce has the advantage of being able to track every move of the shoppers,” he said
“With hospitality one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic, and Australia is now open for business again, Nola presents a huge opportunity for IRL businesses. ”