Telefónica has acquired Berlin-based data start-up Minodes, broadening its capabilities in data analysis for the retail industry.

Telefónica NEXT, the telco’s data analytics and IoT arm of its German opco, will now provide Minodes’s in-store technology alongside its existing services.

Minodes’ platform of in-store analytics, marketing and iBeacon services can analyse anonymised customer flows within a physical shop, aiming to match the analytics and marketing possibilities of online retail for physical store owners. The technology includes sensors that can capture signals from mobile devices.

This information is collected and offered to retailers so that they can target customers more effectively.

The solutions will complement Telefónica NEXT’s other services for store owners which include the likes of the ability to calculate customer footfall within the vicinity of a certain shop.

Exact financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Telefónica said it had paid a “low double-digit million amount”.

Minodes will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Telefónica Deutschland, with its technologies falling under the remit of its framework for data protection.

The co-founder and MD Alexander Köth and other employees will remain at Minodes.

It is unclear whether Minodes' technology will be used within other Telefónica markets.

Jens Lappoehn, Managing Director of Telefónica NEXT, said: “Online shops have long been in a position to closely analyse customer requirements and to react quickly to individual requirements. Together with Minodes, we will also offer offline retail the opportunity to better understand customer behaviour based on data.

“This makes it possible for every retailer to adapt their business to customer needs while at the same time providing a seamless customer experience across all channels.”

Lappoehn said future applications of the technology could include airports, amusement parks, sports stadiums or museums.

Minodes MD Alexander Köth said: “In the course of digitalisation it is crucial for offline retailers to interact with different visitor groups in a targeted manner. This only works, however, if they understand their visitors in detail."

Telefónica posted net profit of €145 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from a loss of €2.2 billion in the same period a year ago.  

However, sales in Germany were down 4.9 percent to €7.5 billion, while the UK registered a 1.5 percent decline to €6.9 billion.

In December, the opco appointed chief operating officer Markus Haas as its new CEO, replacing Thorsten Dirks.

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