Location-Targeting Ad Firm PlaceIQ Raises $15 Million, Teams With VivaKi

PlaceIQ, a startup that provides mobile ad-targeting technology, has secured $15 million in a third-round funding led by Harmony Partners. In connection with the new financing, the company said on Monday it is forming a strategic partnership with VivaKi. Last year, it teamed up with Publicis Groupe sister agency Starcom MediaVest Group.

So far, the SMG alliance has included development of a metric PlaceIQ calls Place Visit Rate, which uses location data to show what share of customers served a mobile banner ad for a retailer subsequently visited a retailer’s store.

A VivaKi spokesperson said the agreement with PlaceIQ entails “first looks” at new technology for clients, as well as collaboration on projects around location-based advertising. For his part, PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall said he was pleased with how the SMG deal has worked out and hoped to extend the same relationship to VivaKi.

PlaceIQ’s hyperlocal targeting relies on a range of data sources, including the U.S. census, public social data and mobile location information to create audience profiles for areas as small as 100 meters square. It uses proprietary algorithms to analyze data, along with time-of-day information, to score each 100 meter “tile” against a given demographic.

The New York-based company last year added 70 employees, including the expansion of its sales force in in Chicago, San Francisco, L.A. and Detroit, for a total of about 100. McCall said he expects to continue aggressively increasing headcount this year, possibly coming close to doubling the current staffing level.

PlaceIQ will also using the funding this year to build out a suite of consumer insights services for companies that want to tap into its database of location-based information. “We have a lot of the data, we have a lot of the algorithms and the learnings, what we really need to be able to do now is to build a platform that allows third parties to access and interrogate this information,” he said.

A CPG company, for example, might use the service to find out why consumers stopped by a certain type of CPG product by looking at shopping patterns or other behavior for a given area. A company could then develop a marketing strategy to better address the problem. “It’s understanding that holistic view of a consumer,” said McCall.

Participating in the company’s latest funding round along with Harmony Partners were Iris Capital and prior investors US Venture Partners, IA Ventures and Valhalla Partners. PlaceIQ to date has raised a total of $27.8 million. 

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