NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Unacast, the world’s largest network of beacon and proximity data, connecting the physical world to the digital for online retargeting and attribution, today announced that the company has raised $5 million in a Series A financing round, with Open Ocean Capital, a leading European VC firm for software and data investments, leading the round. VC firm Investinor co-leads the round.
“Like Google indexed the web, Unacast is indexing the physical world,” said Thomas Walle, co-founder and CEO of Unacast. “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.”
“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 from WPP, the world’s largest media holding company.
The number of beacons deployed worldwide is forecasted to grow to 400 million beacons in 2020 (source). Unacast already has partnerships with 52 of the largest PSP’s, and covers 1.4m (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 marquee players such as Oracle, MediaMath, Opera, Lotame and Adform to enable digital ad retargeting based on accurate and deterministic physical behavior.
In addition to Open Ocean Capital—the team behind MySQL, which was sold to Sun Microsystems, and Investinor —investors in the Series A round include NYC adtech veterans Jonah Goodhart of 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.
"In a world where we see hundreds of brand messages a day, consumers are desperately seeking for more relevant services and offers. Brands, retailers, and mobile service developers want to target the consumers who are most likely to be interested in their products and offers. As the largest aggregator of proximity data globally, Unacast can significantly improve the targeting accuracy of service providers and marketers. The highly deterministic proximity data perfectly complements the existing online data available to make offers and services more relevant to consumers," said Tom Henriksson, General Partner at Open Ocean Capital.
“The Unacast team has a tremendous vision for merchandizing proximity data and serving the data-driven ad industry,” says Michael Barrett, Unacast investor, and previous CEO of Millennial Media.
Thomas Walle continued, “Our goal is to connect all sensors in the world to one platform, and it was important for us to work with investors with industry knowledge and substantial lifting power. This new round enables us to radically accelerate our growth worldwide and scale Unacast’s platform to power the demand from the major global marketing platforms.
With 1.4 million beacons and over 50 partners, Unacast is the world's largest network of beacon and proximity companies, connecting the physical world to the digital world. Through the Unacast PROX network, Unacast enables a scalable global solution for retailers and brands to use beacon and proximity data for online retargeting and attribution. Thomas Walle and co-founder Kjartan Slette, were part of the founding team behind TIDAL, the music streaming company sold to Jay Z.
Unacast is the backend of proximity that aggregates and provides a unified platform for the proximity and advertising industry, solving the fragmentation problem to the benefit of both the supply and demand side. Unacast is the first company to enable a scalable way for retailers and brands to retarget customers online based on accurate behavior in the physical space.