Honestly I don’t even remember who originally introduced me to Mickey Balter, CEO and Co-Founder of Oriient, but I remember our first call when he told me that they are developing indoor location tech that doesn’t require any hardware, and is based solely on “Earth’s magnetic field”. I was immediately hooked.

It has been a few years since then, and we’ve had several touch points over the years: from having Amiram, Oriient’s CTO pitch at one of our events back in 2017 and on to other events and delegations on which we collaborated. Whenever I introduce Oriient to a new retail partner, I always get the same “wow” reaction, which makes them a safe bet to include in any activity – so I’m especially excited to feature the Oriient team on our blog today!

About the company

  • Verticals: Retail Tech, Location Marketing, In-Store Experience, In-Door Navigation
  • Core technology: Geomagnetic Technology
  • Year founded: 2017
  • Founders: Mickey Balter and Amiram Frish
  • Funding to date: $16M
  • Location: TLV, Israel
  • Company size: ~50 people

In today’s fast-paced world, where GPS has become an indispensable tool for outdoor navigation, Oriient, an Israeli startup founded in 2017, recognized the need for accurate indoor location services. By harnessing the power of Earth’s magnetic field and leveraging proprietary deep technology, Oriient manages to bring navigation and personalization to the brick-and-mortar customer experience. Imagine going into a huge blockchain store, or warehouse. You know what you want but you have no idea where, in the hundreds of aisles it’s located. Oriient is a software solution that assists with the age-old problem of indoor location services, enabling global retailers to enhance store operations and drive incremental revenue through indoor navigation and proximity marketing.

Right to left: Mickey Balter and Amiran Frish

Working on the same problem

Micky Balter, Oriient’s CEO and Co-Founder, and Amiram Frish, the CTO were separately working on solving indoor navigation.

While Amiram was at Tel Aviv University, he heard about how Earth’s magnetic field becomes distorted in indoor settings and wanted to put this theory to the test. After developing the solution, he realized that it was, indeed, possible to measure the distortions of the magnetic field indoors and began perfecting the solution.

Meanwhile, Mickey, like many people across the globe, was becoming increasingly frustrated trying to find products in supermarkets while going grocery shopping. Both Mickey and Amiram have vast experience and strong technical backgrounds and so, when a common friend connected them, they quickly got to work and together, they began perfecting the technology and in 2017 created Oriient, ultimately creating an accurate and scalable solution for indoor navigation.

Mickey and Amiram secured an unfair advantage by bringing on board Or Shin Shinhertz, a former COO at Nielsen Innovate and Global Director of Open Innovation at Johnson’s Control, as their Chief Business Officer. Or is one of the nicest people I know, who is known for his amiable personality and vast network within the retail industry. With Or enhancing their leadership team, they make an even stronger retail tech company.

Innovative GeoMagnetic technology

What sets Oriient apart is its pioneering use of GeoMagnetic technology. By leveraging advanced software and smartphone sensors, particularly the magnetometer, Oriient records the unique distortion of Earth’s magnetic field within each indoor setting. This software-only solution delivers hyper-accurate positioning, with an impressive accuracy of 1 meter (3 feet), without suffering from coverage interference issues. In fact, the barriers that typically impede other positioning technologies, such as walls, concrete, or metal, actually enhance the effectiveness of GeoMagnetic methods. These barriers create a unique fingerprint that differentiates between different areas within the same room, enabling precise indoor navigation and location-based services.

Traditional solutions rely on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-based technologies for indoor positioning, which means they often suffer from accuracy issues due to coverage interference from physical barriers. Additionally, hardware installation is required, and maintenance can be cumbersome for Bluetooth-based systems, making it harder for retailers to scale across hundreds or thousands of stores. Oriient’s GeoMagnetic technology surpasses these limitations by offering a software-only solution that is hyper-accurate and hardware-free.

This advantage enables customers to scale Oriient’s solution across multiple stores rapidly and without the need for significant investment. Moreover, Oriient’s technology works seamlessly with limited internet connectivity, supports both iOS and Android devices, and accommodates various shopper phone holding modes, such as with a cart or in a pocket.

Scaling the tech in over 1,500 stores

Oriient has made significant strides in the retail and grocery delivery verticals. As of 2023, over 1,500 stores, including top-five retailers such as Albertsons Companies, Carrefour and the largest grocery delivery companies in the U.S., rely on Oriient for in-store navigation, proximity promotions, and store operations optimization. The impact of Oriient’s technology has been proven through various success metrics, including increasing basket size by 3-5% by reducing the number of unfound products, achieving four times better conversion rates for proximity promotions compared to generic coupons, and improving efficiency and reducing product-picking time by up to 40% through real-time product-location updates.

Oriient recently collaborated with Google Maps Platform to provide an end-to-end, unique shopper journey that starts at home and finishes at the shelf. This partnership further solidifies Oriient’s commitment to revolutionizing the indoor experience. Looking ahead, Oriient envisions activating IndoorGPS for all users in commercial buildings worldwide, optimizing operations, and enhancing service in various facilities. By seamlessly integrating Oriient’s technology, businesses and individuals can unlock the full potential of indoor spaces, resulting in improved navigation, increased efficiency, and enhanced customer experiences.

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Changing indoor navigation

Oriient has emerged as a game-changer in the indoor navigation industry. By harnessing GeoMagnetic technology, Oriient offers accurate, software-only indoor location services that enable businesses to thrive in the rapidly evolving retail landscape. With an impressive roster of clients and proven success metrics, Oriient’s vision for the future involves revolutionizing indoor experiences globally. As the company continues to innovate and expand, Oriient is poised to shape the future of indoor navigation and optimization.

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Yael Kochman