Unacast, the world’s largest network of beacon and proximity data, has raised $5 million in a Series A financing round, the Oslo-based adtech startup said on Wednesday.
“Like Google indexed the web, Unacast is indexing the physical world,” Thomas Walle, co-founder and CEO of Unacast, said in a statement.
“Unacast’s ambition is to redefine the proximity and advertising industry, taking a central role in an emerging industry with a great potential for value creation. We do so by taking the role as the #1 aggregator of proximity, mirroring the accuracy of data collection in the online world to the offline world, and in effect finally understanding a customer’s physical world identity,” Walle said.
The number of beacons deployed worldwide is forecasted to grow to 400 million in 2020. Unacast already has partnerships with 52 of the largest service providers (PSPs) and covers 1.4 million (30%) of the world’s beacons – making Unacast the largest aggregator in the growing proximity ecosystem.
Unacast connects these data sets to global ad platforms through partnerships with players such as Oracle, MediaMath, Opera, Lotame and Adform, enabling digital ad retargeting based on accurate and deterministic physical behavior.
“The methodology behind Unacast proximity data is truly unique. It’s key for an increasingly data-driven marketing industry to introduce new and accurate data sets,”said Jeremy Sigel, Global Director of Partnerships & Emerging Media at WPP, the world’s largest media holding company.
Helsinki-headquartered Open Ocean Capital lead the investment round, with Norway’s Investinor as a co-lead. the round, with investors in the Series A round including also NYC adtech veterans Jonah Goodhart of Moat and formerly Right Media (sold to Yahoo) and Michael Barrett, former CEO of Millennial Media, which he took public, Jason Kelly, former President of Millennial Media and CRO of Admeld, acquired by AOL and Google respectively, and Bill Wise, former President of Right Media, acquired by Yahoo, and now the CEO of MediaOcean.
“The Unacast team has a tremendous vision for merchandising proximity data and serving the data-driven ad industry,” said Michael Barrett, Unacast investor.
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