Location-based analytics provider Placed, which operates an opt-in mobile surveying panel that now reaches over 175,000 people, is announcing $10 million in Series B funding in a round led by Two Sigma Ventures, the VC arm of Two Sigma Investments. Existing investor Madrona Venture Group also participated. The round sees Two Sigma’s David Joerg joining Placed’s board.
Founded in 2011, Seattle-based Placed has been developing its ratings service for real-world locations for several years. The system (which, full disclosure, I’ve been testing on my phone and may eventually net me a handful of dollars in the form of an Amazon gift card or PayPal payout) is a basic app that runs in the background, tracking your location throughout the day. At times, it will send you a survey invite via push notification that asks you to confirm your location on a specific date/time. For example, where you at Walgreens or the burger place next door yesterday afternoon? And that’s the extent of it, from the consumer’s side.
These surveys give you “points” that build up, however, and those can be traded in for gift cards of $2 to $5 generally, or risked on sweepstakes with higher prizes (up to $50). That may not seem like much, but it’s very minimal effort on your part – if you’re OK with selling your personal location data for cash. (I guess I am.)
Across its panel, Placed now measures 175 million locations daily, which gives the company insight into how mobile ads translate into real world behavior. The idea is to provide businesses with another metric to track besides the click-through: in-store visits. (It’s sort of like the offline click-through.)
Today, Placed’s customers include Pandora, PayPal, The Weather Channel, Rocket Fuel, InMobi, Undertone, AdTheorent, Millennial Media, Thinknear, Verve, xAd and others. It currently counts among its customers and partners over half of the top 25 mobile ad networks and publishers in the U.S., and large slice of the Advertising Age 100, the company claims.
Placed founder and CEO David Shim tells us the new funding will help to open up Placed New York office in the next two months, to help support demand from agencies and brands, as well as grow the product.
“Additionally, in terms of the team, this round will accelerate hiring across the organization including sales, operations, engineering, and data sciences,” he notes.
“Measuring the location of over 175,000 people, in high-fidelity and with consent, yields a depth of insight nobody else can offer,” adds new board member, David Joerg, in a release. “Placed exemplifies the kind of company Two Sigma Ventures looks to invest in – a business using data and technology to solve real problems in new ways. We believe that David Shim and Placed’s team are building what will become the standard for location intelligence.”