Marketing has gained new grounds with location intelligence. Companies, today, are in a far better position to target the right audience and design their marketing strategies owing to the power of ‘location data.’ However, one concern that has been plaguing the prophets of location mapping since the time they have come to limelight is that of ‘privacy.’
While conglomerates like Google and Facebook have achieved tremendous growth rate by mapping location of users, they have been on and off facing the lash of ‘data privacy concerns.’
In the worrisome scenario, providing a breath of respite, enters ‘Near,’ a start-up that claims to have started with ‘privacy’ when designing their interactive, cloud-based AI platform called Allspark that creates anonymised, location-based profiles of users. Having about 1.6 billion users each month, the platform is functional across 44 countries at present. Allspark creates profiles on the basis of information gathered from phones, data partners, carriers and its customers.
Bringing an idea to company, CEO & Founder, Anil Mathews created Near in 2012. The company is headquartered in Singapore with offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Bangalore, Tokyo and Sydney. Recently, things got more exciting for the start-up as it bagged a funding of US $100 million. This is one of the largest rounds of funding received in the industry. Near has received the fresh Series D funding from Greater Pacific Capital (GPC), based out of London. The investment has come almost 18 months after Allspark became the fastest growing enterprise SaaS product.
Why did Near make the cut?
Even though Near’s approach of using a collection of data points sourced from a variety of providers is not totally new, it has a (patented) technique based on machine learning algorithms and other inferential AI technology, which enables it to accurately merge all details together to create individual profiles. This is achieved without attaching a name or real identifiers of any kind to the profile. It is this fact that has acted as a differentiator and caught the attention of the investor.
Plans with the funding
With the new growth capital in its kitty, Near intends to:
- Focus more on data cleansing, clustering, noise removal, spatial property estimation, data fusion, identity resolution and cohort analysis.
- Partner with more companies to find the context it doesn’t have today on people and places. Enhancing its capabilities to access more data to grow wider and go deeper.
- Work on giving more options to customers to curate audiences. As Anil says, “Right now we give insights on the audiences that our customers curate, could we swap this and use some of these insights as the starting point of building these personas?”
- Make more investments in AI to automate everything, so that the customers of Allspark can do more in less time.
Near is claiming to be growing at a rate of 100% year-on-year. As its expands its offerings, businesses will benefit more through more intricate location-based marketing, and with Near’s commitment to data privacy, the consumers are likely to get more spoilt for choices without bothering about privacy and security.