Ubimo, a startup that focuses on location-based mobile audience targeting, has raised a $2 million seed round led by Pitango Venture Capital with the participation of serial entrepreneur and angel investor Eyal Gura. Based in Tel Aviv, Ubimo was founded by the team behind Web widget developer LabPixies, which was acquired by Google for $25 million in 2010. Its executives are CEO Ran Ben-Yair, CTO Oded Poncz, Creative Director Udi Graff and COO Gilad Amitai. Ubimo will use its new funding to scale up its product offerings and grow its sales presence in the U.S.
Unlike desktop and Web search, mobile devices lack the benefit of cookies, which makes it very difficult for sites to track and store each user’s activity. This means that advertisers need to determine the right time and place to deliver content without the benefit of browsing histories. Ubimo’s platform helps advertisers by providing location data that enables them to target ads to specific mobile audiences. Instead of relying on geofencing, which sends content to mobile devices based on their current geographic area and is used by many location-based services, Ubimo’s patent-pending TRANSLOCAL targeting technology focuses on helping advertisers figure out the right audience, context and timing for different campaigns.
“With many years of experience on mobile both from the publisher and the advertiser perspective, we identified a gap between the amount of time user spend on mobile and the quality of advertising solutions. We thought that the key factor missing in this field is the understanding of the user context, which is very different in mobile,” Ben-Yair explained in an email. “Unlike web, mobile context is about where you are and what you are doing. We believe that by using these location signals, we can help advertisers to effectively deliver better ads that are more relevant to the current user experience.”
Ubimo’s platform processes signals such as venue information, ongoing events, weather, demographic data and area type (office, residential or commercial). It allows clients to set distances as small as 10 meters. For example, a tennis equipment company can tailor different ads to send to shoppers inside a sporting goods store, fans watching a match or players at a country club.
“There has been a lot of activity recently in the location-tech field and many great startups saw the value in location. I think companies such as PlaceIQ and Placed are good examples. At Ubimo we focus on helping advertisers find the right context for their message (which is not always so intuitive) and doing this using very accurate location signals. Understanding the real context of locations and events enables us to match the most effective campaign in a privacy-friendly way,” said Ben-Yair.
In a statement Rami Beracha, a Managing General Partner at Pitango who will join Ubimo’s board, said: “Mobile is changing the paradigm. Mobile context has changed dramatically over the past few years, calling for new, location-based advertising methods, to keep up with it. Ubimo’s platform pivots around the user’s real-time context and changes the game. Ubimo’s founders have proved they know how to build exceptional products and we are thrilled to welcome them to our portfolio family.”