As a marketer, knowledge is power. Knowing what people like, what they are doing and what makes them spend is invaluable, and the software you use to get this information is just as important. Cuebiq, the next generation location intelligence software uses mobile sources to give you the most up to date data on potential consumers. The growing field of programmatic advertising are raising the standard for marketing world wide and if you want to stay competitive, Cuebiq is your ticket in.
AlleyWatch spoke with founder and CEO Antonio Tomarchio about the company and filled us in on their first round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Cuebiq has closed on $3.5M in Series A funding. The round was led by Tribeca Angels, a network of financial professionals that finances and supports advancements in the finance and enterprise technology sectors, and ARC Angel Fund NYC, an early-stage investment group.
Tell us about your product or service.
Cuebiq is a next generation location intelligence company that allows businesses to glean actionable insights about real-world consumer behaviors and trends. Using its data intelligence platform, Cuebiq provides geo-behavioral insights and offline location analytics, geo-behavioral audiences for cross-platform ad targeting and offline attribution analysis.
What inspired you to start the company?
After many years working in the ad tech space, not only did I see marketers’ crucial need for effective offline measurement, but also how weak all available solutions were in terms of ability to produce meaningful, clear, and privacy compliant data about user behaviors in the offline world. This appeared to me as a great opportunity to solve a key need.
How is it different?
What makes Cuebiq different is our data collection methodology and intelligence platform, which allows us to:
Reach 1 in 4 US Smartphone Users, collecting over 60B data points/month in the U.S., 80 percent with accuracy within 30 feet. We provide our clients with what we call “Smarter Location Data”. Thanks to our collection methodology we are able to collect Lat Long + Accuracy, dwell time, and visit frequency which not only allow us to gain a 360 degree view of consumers’ offline behavior and purchase intent, but also to identify user patterns in high density urban contexts and inside stores/POIs. Finally, we ensure higher quality. As we persistently collect verified data sets directly from partner apps through our SDK, we are able to verify the location data collected directly from the source, as opposed to data collected from ad requests, where the data provider has no control over its source and no way to directly verify its quality. All respecting end user privacy.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Location intelligence and analytics market, which according to a recent report released by Markets and Markets, is estimated to grow from $8.20 Billion in 2016 to $16.34 Billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.6% during the forecast period.
What’s your business model?
Data as a Service: depending on the product our clients wish to leverage, they either pay a monthly data subscription fee and/or pay per report.
How do you manage the balance between privacy concerns and the use of location data?
Cuebiq is one of the few location data companies to be a member of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), the leading self-regulatory industry association dedicated to responsible data collection and its use for digital advertising.
More specifically, we do not collect or analyze any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and we inform users as they give partner apps permission to track location and Bluetooth and provide a clear and simple opt-out mechanism.
What was the funding process like?
My goal was to bring on board not only early stage funds but also investors with stellar background in the space, who could truly help us accelerate the business. With this in mind, I reached out to my network of contacts across the country. It was intense, lots of meetings, lot of fine tuning of our investor pitch, but the company growth and our customers’ satisfaction were on our side, playing out as our best advocates during the due diligence process.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
I moved to the U.S. in 2013, and as such, I do not have the kind of track record here that I have in Europe, where I created two successful companies. This, as you can imagine, is a key variable in investors’ evaluation. I overcame this challenge by proving the company value and potential and showing its good numbers.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The technological differentiation provided by the SDK and our amazing growth, 20% month over month, both in term of revenue and partner apps.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Keeping up with the 15-20% month over month growth rate and expanding our footprint through channel partnerships across a variety of verticals like transportation, logistics, and retail analytics.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
NYC has a vibrant startup scene and there are many investors, especially in the big data space. I would recommend mapping the NYC funds with a track record in the industry of interest. It is important to be very specific, as investors are getting more and more specialized. I would also strongly recommend considering a strategy focused on high-net worth individuals with a background in the same industry, it is amazing how much similar investors can help the company.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Our goal is to end 2017 in a leadership position in the location intelligence industry. We are working on a comprehensive SaaS Platform that will provide straightforward, actionable insights.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
As a scotch and cognac lover, definitely the Flatiron Room!