PlaceIQ Secures Growth Funding: A Lesson in Product Focus

PlaceIQ has announced a strategic investment from Experian (yes, that Experian). The size of the investment isn’t disclosed but it represents a growth round for the nine-year old location intelligence firm, whose CEO Duncan McCall will speak at LSA’s October Localogy Place conference (more on that in a bit).

Specifically, the investment comes from Experian’s venture arm. Like lots of corporate investment entities, it backs companies based on strategic as well as financial motivations. In this case, Experian will incorporate PlaceIQ’s LandMark location data product into its suite of marketing services.

The investment also comes after — and aligns with — PlaceIQ’s divestiture of its media & advertising business to Zeta Global. Though the ad business was a thoughtful and strategic move when it launched, PlaceIQ is now moving back towards dedicated focus on its core competency in location intelligence.

“The marketplace has already resoundingly validated our strategic choice to return to our data roots,” McCall told LSA. “In my view, this partnership with Experian further recognizes and rewards that strategy. Experian carefully evaluated quite a few different companies to understand which data sets would be strategically important as their marketing business evolves–and we feel privileged to have been selected as the company that is best aligned with their high standards and values. Given our team’s singular focus on creating an unparalleled dataset, we’d like to think that a gold standard product was the perfect fit with a gold standard partner.”

As background, PlaceIQ expanded into ad sales when infrastructure and processes didn’t exist in the ad tech world to incorporate its data into the ad buying process. So it built that process as a proof of concept. Now that it’s accomplished that, and paved the way for its location data, it’s returning to its core.

“Admittedly, I have a bias toward thinking of PlaceIQ as the first location intelligence company,” said McCall. “In those days, my thesis was that we should be a data-centric business, but soon learned that monetizing our data would require a blended business model: data plus managed services to deliver it. Gratifyingly, however, the market has evolved toward building their own data infrastructures (including location data), and taking control of the strategies and techniques that can offer them their unique competitive advantage. This, in turn, told us the time was right to ‘double down’ the focus on our core competency.”

This move also aligns with our observation that the addressable market for location data continues to grow. It includes ad targeting and attribution, as always, but also emerging areas like equity research, franchise location scouting and operational planning. This trend amplifies location data’s value.

Back to the Place Conference appearance, McCall will speak on a panel of executives about the state of location intelligence and ad targeting. This of course is a dynamic topic, given the combination of regulatory activity and quickly shifting technologies for tracking location and drawing insights from it.

We’ll get to ask McCall on stage to further unpack this week’s investment and the company’s strategic direction overall. The full session details and participants are below. We hope to see you there.

2:30 -3:00pm
Exec Panel: Here We Are, Where Are We Going?
As we head into 2020, this panel of location leaders offers their perspective on the state of location, first-party vs. third-party data, the future of programmatic, consumer trust and the end of cookies.

Sunil Kumar, GroundTruth
Mike Fordyce, NinthDecimal
Duncan McCall, PlaceIQ


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