AdNear raises $19M from Telstra Ventures, Global Brain, others

Bangalore and Singapore-based , a Big Data company that helps brands reach out to audiences by analysing location data over a period of time, has secured $19 million in its Series B round of funding from Telstra Ventures and Global Brain Corp., with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners.

AdNear will use the capital to expand into multiple new markets. As part of the deal, Mark Sherman, MD of Telstra Ventures, will join AdNear’s 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. Location data-driven insights are powerful and marketers can use these data points to understand consumer behaviour and also build customised campaigns as per their target audience,” said Anil Mathews, CEO of AdNear.

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

AdNear was founded by Mathews back in 2009. The company’s advertising platform is built on a proprietary hybrid geo-location platform, which helps provide location awareness on mobile phones without GPS or operator assistance.

The firm leverages real geo-location, combined with consumer behaviour, to target relevant users within a geo-fence. As a result, advertisers are able to reach a massive audience, based on where people are located or what’s actually near them. All ads are displayed within mobile apps and ensure further engagement as users can find their way to the advertised stores, use coupons, and call the businesses and so on.

AdNear’s clients include P&G, Woolworths, Audi, Unilever, BMW, Ford, Samsung, IKEA and Adidas.

In November 2012, it had raised Rs 35 crore ($6.3 million) in its Series A funding from Sequoia and Canaan to expand across the Asia-Pacific region and scale up its proprietary technology and data reservoir.

"Mobile advertising continues to grow rapidly across Asia Pacific. 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,” said Sherman.

Telstra Ventures is the venture investment arm of Australian telco Telstra.

“We appreciated AdNear's superior technologies and highly experienced team, and firmly believe that AdNear will become a leading player in the global ad-tech market in the near future,” said Yasuhiko Yurimoto, president and CEO of Global Brain Corp.

Founded in 1998, Global Brain is a Tokyo-based independent venture capital fund that is focusing on seed to mid-stage IT startup companies in Japan and foreign countries. It currently manages five funds with a total corpus of $300 million.

“AdNear has been focused on analysing location data at scale to understand user behaviour, and the response from clients across markets has been phenomenal. We believe that markets such as Japan present significant opportunities for AdNear’s technology and we look forward to leveraging our expertise and network to help the company succeed in these markets,” said Mohit Bhatnagar, MD of Sequoia.

“Over the last year, AdNear has seen a 12x growth in its device user base and 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,” said Rahul Khanna, MD of Canaan India.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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