Geofeedia Raises $17M To Help Businesses Tap Into Social Location Data

Geofeedia, a startup that pulls real-time, location-based data from social media, has raised $17 million in Series B funding.

Co-founder and CEO Phil Harris said the company “invented a new way of organizing social data” — most other analytics tools allow businesses to look at the data based on things like keywords and hashtags, while Geofeedia is focused on location.

The product helps customers see when users have explicitly shared their location on Instagram, Twitter, Sina Weibo, Periscope, Vine and YouTube. Harris said the real advantage to Geofeedia’s technology lies in its ability to quickly ingest all these posts and then present them in a map-based interface.

He added that the data is currently being used for marketing, for journalism and for operations — a national hotel chain, for example, might want to know what people are saying around each of its locations.

Chicago-based Geofeedia was actually founded back in 2011, but Harris suggested that businesses now have a better idea of what to do with this data: “A couple of years ago people said, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you can do this,’ but that didn’t necessarily result in a sale.” In contrast, the company added 200 new customers in 2015 and saw revenue grow 250 percent year-over-year. Customers include Dell, CNN, Mall of America and the NCAA.

Vice President of Product Management R.J. Talyor added that with the new funding, Geofeedia is prepared to broaden its location data — not just pulling from social media but also beacons and other sources.

“I think there is an opportunity to expand into a whole new set of competitors in location-based marketing and advertising,” Talyor said.

The Series B was led by Silversmith Capital Partners, which contributed $15 million to the round, with Silversmith’s Todd MacLean joining Geofeedia’s board of directors. The company previously raised just under $7 million from investors including Hyde Park Venture Partners (existing investors participated in the new funding).

Harris said he plans to more than double Geofeedia’s 60-person headcount this year, and to open offices across the United States.