Monday, 20 October 2014 04:52

Telstra invests in mobile advertising company Featured

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Telstra Ventures has become a major investor in AdNear, a Singapore based company that targets phone users based on their location.

AdNear has announced it has raised US$19 million from Telstra Ventures and Japanese venture capital company Global Brain as part of its strategic plan to expand into new markets. Both its existing investors, US financiers Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners, also participated in the capital raising round.

AdNear has developed insights from anonymous device users across Asia Pacific using their historical location footprint and real-world offline data. It uses this data to track users’ location and programmatically send relevant ads to them on behalf of advertisers using its proprietary real-time bidding platform. It has rapidly grown its client base to include brands such as P&G, Woolworths, Audi, Unilever, BMW, Ford, Samsung, IKEA, and Adidas.

Telstra Ventures’ Mark Sherman said: “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.” Sherman will join the AdNear Board of Directors.

Anil Mathews, CEO of AdNear said, “We’re thrilled to be joined by investors such as Telstra Ventures and Global Brain in this journey. 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 extremely powerful and marketers can use these data points to understand consumer behaviour and also build customised campaigns as per their target audience. We are constantly experimenting with location datasets for various use-cases and will be productising some of these in the coming months.”

In 2012 AdNear closed its Series A round of funding of US$6.3 million of to support its expansion in the Asia Pacific region. It has since been adding approximately 1.2 million anonymous device users daily to its probabilistic profiles database.

It is the latest in a number of strategic investments by Telstra Ventures, which is taking stakes in technology companies it sees as strategic to its future growth. The largest such investment has been in streaming and analytics company Ooyala, which it acquired outright for an additional $290 million in August.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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