Ah, the allure of the Big City. PlaceIQ, a hyper-local ad targeting startup from Boulder, Colorado is moving to New York City, flush with $4.2 million in series A funding. New investors include U.S. Venture Partners and Valhalla Partners. Existing investors IA Ventures, kbs+p ventures, and angel investor Jerry Neumann also invested in the round.
PlaceIQ breaks up the world into 100 million tiles and gathers as much location data about each tile so that it can infer what people in those locations might be interested in at different times of day. As I explained in a post earlier this year:
Mobile advertising inventory still goes largely unfilled because the relevance and targeting isn’t that good. PlaceIQ sifts through tons of data about locations to give marketers a mini-zipcode-like profile of each block. The data comes from both open sources and commercial data sets, including place data, retail data, government data, event data, photo data, social data, and, crime data. This goes well beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare, but the company says it doesn’t use any personally identifiable information. Rather, it is making assumptions based on the contextual cues of a person’s location and time of day.
. . . It takes all of these various hyper-local data sources and maps it onto its 100 million map tiles. Then it normalizes the data and can guess what type of person is likely to be at that location at that time (a student, tourist, shopper, financial or tech worker, etc). It can also spit out information such as retail sales volume, events, foot traffic by time, and social media activity
The company is still doing mobile ad targeting (on an anonymous basis), but now thinks there is a broader opportunity in location-specific audience analytics across mobile phones, tablets, digital billboards, and even online and TV. It sounds like PlaceIQ is still trying to find its place. Welcome to New York!