Hyp3r, a digital marketing firm that sells subscription software products, raised a $17.3 million Series A this week.
Structure Capital, Rokk3r Fuel, Thayer Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and others contributed to the round. This new financing brings the company’s total known funding to $23 million, according to Crunchbase.
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Founded by marketing entrepreneur Carlos Garcia in 2015, Hyp3r uses location data to help companies track and communicate with customers. By setting up geofences at sites including hotels, airports, gyms, and shopping malls, Hyp3r’s technology can track the movement of customers through anonymous mobile device IDs. Hyp3r’s software allows marketing teams to monitor public social media postings that have been geotagged, without relying on @-tags and hashtags, so that they can interact with customers in real time.
The company aims to make online consumer marketing campaigns less disruptive. “For the longest time, marketing has been an interruption, and we want to make marketing welcome,” Garcia said. “If you are at a hotel and you’re celebrating a life event like an anniversary or maybe an engagement or birthday, will that brand or hotel be able to elevate that experience, add to it, and not interrupt it,” he added. Garcia believes that this is what real-time, location-based engagement will achieve.
The company targets retail and travel firms, two categories that have been transformed through technology, as the success of data-driven firms like Airbnb and Amazon illustrate.
“A lot of marketers that own physical locations have been placed at a disadvantage because they don’t have as much data as their digital-only competitors” Garcia explained. He added that intermediaries like online travel agencies contribute to that phenomenon. While an online travel agency (or “OTA”) like Expedia may direct customers to a hotel, the hotel does not own the customer information or online relationship. Hyp3r, therefore, hopes to “level the playing field” for companies that haven’t traditionally had real-time access to that siloed data.
Hyp3r integrates with CRM software like Salesforce and Adobe. And while the company aims to be a utility for digital marketers, it doesn’t see itself as a competitor for other digital marketing services like Sprinklr.
“We coexist with all of those social media management platforms that are in the marketer’s technology stack– whether it’s Sprinklr or Spreadfast,” Garcia explained. “Our goal is not to enable a workflow of listening to and publishing on social media, our goal is to acquire and engage customers on location. It’s a different mindset that has a lot more ROI for our customers.”
The company declined to state its total number of customers, but Garcia says its current customers pay for the platform, servicing over 65,000 locations.
Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias