AdNear, a location-based mobile advertising platform that supports both feature phones and smart phones, has raised Rs 35 crore in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners. According to the company, the additional funding will be used to support expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and towards growing the team.

AdNear offers location based mobile advertising solutions in India, Singapore, Australia, and other Asia-Pacific countries. It leverages precise location, behaviour, and profiling of consumers, to assist advertisers in reaching relevant audience, the company informed. AdNear says that its advertising platform is built on top of proprietary hybrid geo-location platform which helps provide location awareness on phones without the need of GPS or operator assistance.  The solution serves ads within mobile apps and users are further able to engage with these ads through ways like finding the route to the advertised store, using coupon, calling them, etc.

The company, headquartered in Bangalore, was founded by Anil Mathews, and was previously known as Imere Tech. It was founded in 2008, and used to offer geospatial software platform for mobile and Internet location-based applications. It used to leverage Cell-ID, Wi-Fi, GPS, IP Addresses and proprietary algorithms for providing location relevant inputs for both mobile and Internet applications, could work without GPS on mobile phones, and tried to provide location accuracy online without entirely being dependant on IP addresses. Internet company Rediff.com had acquired a minority stake in the company in October 2009.  Rediff had also said that it would provide “platform support” to Imere over and above financial support.

AdNear services are currently being used by brands and advertisers like Toyota, Titan, Ford, PizzaHut, Samsung, Nokia and Airtel.

Other LBS oriented Ad solutions

It;s interesting to note that mobile instant messaging and VoIP company Nimbuzz had also started offering location based advertising on mobile phones in India through its application, making use of GPS on the device, to locate the user and offering ads based on that location in his Nimbuzz profile. Tata Docomo had also launched a location-based advertising service called “Offers Near Me”. It is location-based opt-in service which allows GSM customers of Tata Docomo to receive deals, offers and discount coupons from retailers span across FMCG brands, apparel companies, malls, restaurants, cinemas, coffee shops, auto dealers, and others, depending on the current location of the customer and offers from individual retailers.