Location Hot Again with Investor Money Pouring In — Foursquare, PlaceIQ, Euclid Raise $90MM
January 15, 2016 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
I was in a meeting the other day when an executive at a name-brand local marketing company asserted that “very few people are making any money in the local space.” He said he knew this because he was being pitched by numerous companies to buy them.
It may well be true that only a few local marketing providers and platforms are making money. But investor money seems to again be pouring into companies involved with location.
Within the past several days, Foursquare, PlaceIQ and Euclid have announced big rounds. Foursquare said it had raised $45 million, albeit at a much lower valuation. PlaceIQ raised $25 million and Euclid said it had raised $20 million.
Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley is apparently going to assume the position of “executive chairman.”is the new CEO. The company has pivoted from being primarily a Yelp competitor to a company that looks more like PlaceIQ, Factual or NinthDecimal — providing location data to third parties to enhance or improve mobile targeting. The company also buys media on behalf of advertisers using its data.
PlaceIQ, which was one of the first companies to recognize the power of expanded uses of location data, said that it would use the money “to fuel further development of PlaceIQ’s industry-leading, location-based audience platform … [and] investment in the award-winning Place Visit Rate … foot traffic measurement technology . . .”
Euclid’s $20 million comes from a range of new and current investors, including Cox Enterprises, LVMH’s largest shareholder, Gold Sky Capital, Benchmark Capital and others. The company currently provides WiFi-based in-store analytics to retailers but has a more expansive vision in which it will help retailers offer personalization to their customers without a mobile app.
While Foursquare still offers a consumer-facing experience, which is how it gets its first-party location data, all three of these companies are providing ad-targeting data, location analytics or both. These are not new local startups going up against Google or Facebook. In all cases they’re providing B2B data to improve targeting, measurement and/or customer intelligence.