Qriously raises $1.6m to let brands replace mobile ads with questions

Qriously, a service that lets brands measure location-based public opinion, has raised $1.6m in a new funding round led by Accel Partners. Amalfi Capital also participated, while the London-based startup is originally backed by Pacific Tiger Group.

Through its SDK offered to mobile app developers, Qriously lets advertisers display questions instead of traditional mobile ads so that they can measure sentiment in realtime but also based on a user’s location. Those advertisers could be ad agencies, marketers, research companies and eventually small businesses – Qriously wants to “democratize mass insight”, says Christopher Kahler, CEO and co-founder – while app developers get a kick back via a pay-per-answer model rather than pay-per-click or transaction.

It’s hoped, therefore, that Qriously will give developers another revenue stream to enable them to offer their mobile app or service for free.

The User Experience employed by Qriously is also key; the widget provides onscreen controls to measure a participant’s sentiment on a particular issue on a sliding scale rather than a more rigid yes or no or multiple choice. Additionally, users can see how their opinion differs from the sample overall. But perhaps most crucially, all of this takes place without users leaving each app in which Qriously is deployed – kind of similar to Apple’s iAds concept – which should increase take-up and engagement significantly.

Until this week, Qriously has been operating in ‘stealth’ mode although the startup is already claiming a network of 9 million installs and is testing with “some of the leading market research companies”.