Telstra invests in Asia-Pacific location-based ad tech company

AdNear's mobile marketing technology taps into location-based user data to sell programmatic advertising to mobile devices

Location intelligence and ad programmatics vendor, AdNear, has secured US$19 million from Telstra and Global Brain to expand its presence across Asia-Pacific.

The company uses mobile towers and Wi-Fi signals to collect anonymous user data, which it then turns into insights in order to target third-party advertising content to mobile audiences. It claims brands already using its real-time bidding platform include Procter & Gamble, Woolworths, Audi, Unilever, BMW, Ford, Samsung and Ikea.

In the latest series B capital raising round, the Singapore-based ad tech company brought in US$19m from new investors, Telstra Ventures and Global Brain, a venture capital firm, as well as existing sponsors, Sequoia Capital and Canann Partners.

AdNear held its first round of funding in 2012, raising US$6.3m from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners to support its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region as well as to grow its team. The company claims to be adding 1.2 million anonymous device users daily to its probabilistic profiles database, and to have profiles more than 530 million users across the region, with 8.4 billion location footprints across more than 5000 cities.

AdNear has operations in Australia, Singapore, India and several Southeast Asian countries and says the extra funding will go towards expanding its reach, as well as bringing several new dataset offerings to market.

Telstra Ventures managing director, Mark Sherman, said mobile advertising continues to grow rapidly across Asia-Pacific. As part of the latest deal, Sherman will join AdNear’s board of directors.

“Telstra Ventures recognises the value that AdNear’s probabilistic, data-driven approach brings to advertisers and we’re excited to be able to provide capital to accelerate the expansion of AdNear’s operations,” he said.

Related: What you need to know about location-based marketing

Canaan India managing director, Rahul Khanna, pointed out AdNear had seen 12x growth in its device user base over the past year.

“We are very excited about AdNear taking its offerings to new markets. With data-driven marketing opportunities increasing by the day, AdNear’s data insights become very valuable,” he said in a statement.

CEO of AdNear, Anil Mathews, was thrilled to have its two new financial supports on-board.

“Our proprietary technology enables us to help major brands across Asia-Pacific fine-tune their consumer targeting by having access to real-time location intelligence,” he said. “Location data-driven insights are extremely powerful and marketers can use these data points to understand consumer behaviour and also build customised campaigns as per their target audience.

“We are constantly experimenting with location datasets for various use-cases and will be productising some of these in the coming months.”

AdNear is one of several companies working to tap into the growing need for location-based marketing services. Last month, rival US-based localisation ad technology vendor, xAd, confirmed that it had raised US$50m for its global expansion efforts, the fourth round of fund raising since its launch in 2009.

Facebook is also getting in on the location-based advertising act and launched a new feature earlier this month allowing advertisers to pitch content to mobile users using their geographic radius.

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