Yandex Acquires KitLocate, Integrates Geolocation Into Mobile Search Team

Russia's search engine Yandex has acquired Israeli startup KitLocate. The company develops geolocation technology for mobile devices, allowing retailers to communicate with consumers at their physical doorstep.

Yandex will integrate KitLocate's eight-person team into its mobile search group. The plan includes white labeling the geolocation technology to external app developers.

KitLocate's technology identifies the exact location of a consumer, enabling Yandex to deliver search results, and products and services on mobile phones or tablets at the best moment. KitLocate CEO Omri Moran calls it "consumer location intelligence."

The low-battery consumption technology provides location capabilities, such as geo-fencing, motion detection and social location for location-based apps on iOS or Android smartphones.

Despite the fact that geolocation technology typically drains the mobile device's battery life, KitLocate claims its technology lowers battery power consumption to less than 1% per hour, partly because the location software development kit (SDK) uses multiple sensors on the phone GPS, WiFi, Cell towers, accelerometer, among others.

Since the technology relies on several types of sensors, the SDK will still work if the mobile phone user turns off their GPS. The app developer can add an unlimited number of geo-fences for both iOS and Android devices.

The Israeli team's technology has already been successfully implemented in a mobile app, which helps drivers find available parking spaces in their immediate area, per a Yandex blog post.

In another example, a Fortune 500 U.S. based retailer wanted to use its mobile app to drive foot traffic into stores, increase sales, and boost brand loyalty. It turns out, consumers open within 1 minute about 15% of the push notifications sent to their phones, and 40% within 30 minutes. Some 60% of opened messages led to additional actions within the hour.

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