Tapestri introduced an app in November that pays consumers cash for sharing their anonymized location history. The startup then sells the data to brands.
Tapestri founder and chief executive officer Walter Harrison spent a decade in the tech industry before launching this business.
“We believe the data is valuable and we’re willing to pay consumers for the information they’re already giving away,” he says. “Most of the apps are ad-supported and want to track you to learn how you live your life.”
The average user makes about $7 monthly from their data, but users can make more by answering surveys within the app, he says, or refer others. The location technology in the app “pings” the phone 50 times daily to determine its location, Harrison says.
“When we see that phone move from one location to another, we want to know why the consumer chose to take the phone to Home Depot rather than Lowe's, or Costco over Sam’s Club. These are decisions we all make, but we find those decisions very interesting. We wouldn’t know why someone would choose one over the other, but we would know why over time in certain areas why certain individuals in certain areas would.”
The reason may be income in the area or the roads used to get there. Marketers could build campaigns based on the information.
There is also an affiliate program, with about 80,000 participants in the U.S. and in Canada, and a referral program built in. Those who refer a friend get paid. The program is called “’tap a friend’ to earn a buck,” Harrison says. One person refers another. The friend stays active and the original user makes a dollar for that referral.
There are plans to launch in 60 countries by mid-January.
Tapestri only works on consent because users must opt-in, which Harrison believes should make it easier to expand.
Having the ability to analyze the data is part of the monetization process for Harrison to help the company understand how and why consumers buy something or visit a store without completing a purchase.
“Our vision is to understand how the world works and do it in real time,” Harrison said. “We want to become the Waze of real-time purchases. Understanding how the world works when consumers consent to companies using their data.”
The navigation app, Waze, owned by Google, allows drivers to connect to one another and work together to improve each other's driving experience.
“We want to build a global, analytics and social layer, anonymously, so you can see places and people around you,” he said. “You’re sitting at home at 8 p.m. at night there are people eating at a restaurant listed on Yelp or TripAdvisor that you’ve never heard about. … The world is much bigger than your social network.”
Tapestri launched in mid-October, and was founded in January 2021.
Harrison has spent more than a decade in ad tech. He also co-founded Growth Systems, acquired by Info.com, a meta search engine, in 2015 focused around online shopping demographics and habits. The company eventually sold to Systems1.