There is a lot of money in knowing where you are at any given point in time, and many of us have location tracking devices—our phones—all but surgically attached at the hip.
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GroundTruth, a New York City-based company, helps advertisers with brick-and-mortar locations strategically target prospective customers based on demographic, weather, and location data. When a customer walks within a certain range of a location, or if a certain set of weather conditions occur, users might be pushed an advertisement for a given store, coffee shop, or restaurant located nearby.
In paperwork filed with the SEC, GroundTruth (which is incorporated as “xAD Inc.”) revealed it has raised $18 million in an equity transaction. The filing notes say the transaction concerned “[s]hares of Series F Preferred Stock and underlying shares of Common Stock.” The capital came from just one investor. No further capital is slated to be raised in this round.
Founded in 2009, GroundTruth has raised $116.5 million across seven prior venture rounds, the last of which was a $42.5 million Series E led by Eminence Capital LLC, a hedge fund based in New York City.
As part of the Series F transaction, Ricky Sandler, a founding member of Eminence Capital, appears to have joined GroundTruth’s board. Despite leading the Series E round, neither Sandler (nor other Eminence personnel to our knowledge) were listed as board members on GroundTruth’s regulatory filing for the Series E round. Given added representation on the board, Eminence Capital may be the source of funds for the Series F round.
Location data remains a valuable tool to marketers and advertisers, and there are a relatively small number of companies with deep data stores. The big search and social networking companies definitely have it, cell phone carriers have it (and have recently gotten in trouble for selling it to third parties), and a handful of smaller companies like Yext, Foursquare, and GroundTruth have delved deep into location data.
As online and offline shopping and local discovery experiences continue to converge on one another, there’s money available to those mining and minting foot traffic data.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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