MaxPoint Interactive Raises $3 Million To Help Advertisers "Pinpoint" Customers

Founded back in 2007 by former PayPal, eBay, Luminex and Tesla Motors execs, MaxPoint Interactive this morning announced that it has secured its very first institutional round of $3 million in funding from Trinity Ventures.

MaxPoint offers advertisers proprietary targeting technology that allows its clients to “pinpoint” prospects up to neighborhood level, in a bid to increase in-store sales for brands across a variety of sectors.

The company’s system, which it says is already in use by consumer packaged goods brands, retailers, pharma companies and financial service organizations, is said to employ two unique technologies to drive in-store purchases for national and local brands.

By combining multiple data sets to form what it refers to as “Customized Consumer Profiles”, MaxPoint says it is able to identify the best potential customer for any brand – those that are both interested and capable of purchasing the product.

To accomplish this, MaxPoint draws from point-of-sale data from more than 65,000 retail stores nationwide, demographics, psychographics and other publicly available data sources – pretty much everything apart from personally identifiable information, in other words.

Subsequently, the company uses its so-called Digital Zip technology to find the best neighborhoods across the U.S. for the product or service in question, based on the characteristics of the people who live there.

MaxPoint Interactive says its Digital Zips segment the country into 34,000 distinct neighborhoods, each with approximately 3,400 households, allowing marketers to pinpoint locations within a retailer’s trade area and to more precisely serve up their targeted online ads.

Joe Epperson, CEO and co-founder of MaxPoint Interactive and previously senior finance executive for PayPal’s Global Merchant Services group and a former member of the original eBay Motors executive team, cites research that has shown that over one quarter of online display ads are currently delivered outside the radius of a local store location. He adds:

“This means that national brands and retailers are wasting a large portion of their online advertising budgets, as these impressions are not driving in-store sales.

By introducing increased geographic and data set precision into the ad targeting process, we can deliver neighborhood-level targeting on a national scale, empowering brand marketers to focus their ad spend on their prime target consumers living within the radius of the store.”

It’s most certainly an intriguing approach, although a lot of what MaxPoint touts is possible with its technology relies heavily on the tastiness of its very secret sauce.

Graphs depicting how something works are all fine and dandy, but I’d love to get some reference customers speak up on how well MaxPoint’s innovative targeting technology lives up to all its lofty promises.