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AdNear raises $19M Series B funding from Telstra Ventures, Global Brain & Others

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AdNear, which provides location intelligence data to brands and advertisers, has raised $19 million in Series B funding from Telstra Ventures and Global Brain, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners. The Singapore-headquartered company didn’t provide much insight into how the funds will be used, though AdNear CEO Anil Mathews did hint at the possibility of launching new products in the coming months.

AdNear had raised $6.3 million (about Rs 35 crore) in its Series A round of funding from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners, in November 2012. The company had said that the funds would be used to expand its operations across the Asia-Pacific region and adding more members to its team.

Rediff.com had acquired a minority stake in AdNear (then known as Imere Technologies) back in November 2009, which it later sold for $1.14 million in May 2013.

AdNear’s advertising platform utilizes real-time geo-location data, which negates the need for GPS or network operator assistance for location awareness, and is compatible for delivering ads to both smartphones and feature phones. AdNear also provides advertisers with user behaviour data to help them reach the relevant audience. The company claims to have reached over 530 million devices till date, and claims to be adding about 1.2 million new anonymous device users to its database everyday. Some of the clients AdNear works with, include P&G, Woolworths, Audi, Unilever, BMW, Adidas, Ford, Samsung, and IKEA among others.

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Other location-based ad solutions

SVG Media’s display ad network, Velocity had introduced Smartzones in March last year, which offered location-based audience targeting facility to advertisers on smartphone platforms like iOS, Android and Symbian.

In January 2013, Vserv had launched a mobile advertising solution called AudiencePro, which leveraged telecom operator data to provide better targeting to advertisers. At launch, the company had partnered with Bharti Airtel for this initiative.

Komli Mobile, a division of Komli Media, had partnered with Singapore-based hyper-local mobile ad network Yoose in 2012, to enable Komli to utilize its hyper-local and rich media capabilities and combine it with geo-tagging solutions for ad campaigns in India and Southeast Asia.

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.

Facebook bandwidth targeting: Facebook’s new ad unit called bandwidth targeting, which allows advertisers to develop and target ads based on the quality of the Facebook user’s network connection, though not a location-based ad service per se also addresses some of the advertiser issues AdNear does. In May, Facebook had claimed that 66% of its users in India are on feature phones. The social networking giant had also introduced state-level targeting to Indian advertisers, wherein advertisers can target people by state or even multiple states in India without having to list multiple cities.

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