French startup Tapvalue raised $2.2 million (€1.6 million) to boost its international growth and keep iterating on the product. Tapvalue is an innovative cross-device tracking and advertising platform, but with a twist — it is specifically targeted towards offline retailers. In other words, the startup is bringing modern advertising technologies to brick and mortar store owners.
“Our technology lets you know everything about your users’ paths,” co-founder and CEO Frédéric Valette told me in a phone interview. “We are able to bring together online and offline data to show you the right ad on the right device at the right time and place.”
Behind Tapvalue, the company is building three different key graphs. First, it identifies the user without relying on cookies. Then, the service will remember all the devices that you use — a single client often uses a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet. The service will store all this information. Finally, the company keeps track of your location and habits.
In other words, Tapvalue collects profile, device and location data. But what do you do with all this data? Retailers can then target and retarget existing and potential clients with ads to make them come back to their stores — Tapvalue can even handle the ad serving part.
When it comes to offline data, the company works with existing companies. Many solutions can already help you keep track of your clients. If a store doesn’t have an existing in-store solution, Tapvalue will equip its clients with devices to achieve just that. Once again, Tapvalue’s key strength is that it combines offline and online data.
“We are an advertising technology provider for now,” Valette said. “We started looking for clients around six months ago. We built a sales team as these sales can take a long time. And we now have around ten clients.”
Founded in 2012, the three co-founders have worked in advertising since 2000. They first created the leading affiliate network in France with CibleClick. The team of 15 recently opened an office in London and will open another one in Germany in the coming months. It competes with Tapad and other more traditional cross-device advertising platforms.
Today’s round comes from an undisclosed VC firm and multiple business angels. Public funds also participated. Pascal Mercier handled the fundraising effort.
The most interesting part of this company is that brick and mortar retailers are still a big untapped market when it comes to advertising technology. Their sales numbers are multiple times higher than their online competitors. If Tapvalue can convince these retailers to adopt a modern ad-tech solution, it will generate a healthy revenue stream for the startup.