Location data startup Placer.ai has raised a $50 million funding round led by Josh Buckley, Todd Goldberg, and Rahul Vohra. Participants included Fifth Wall Ventures and returning investors JBV Capital and Aleph VC. The company uses cell phone data to track pedestrian foot traffic, predominantly in and around retail properties.
Growth in unexpected areas: Revenue from its core customer segments of retail and commercial real estate were negatively affected by the pandemic, but the startup saw growth in new categories, including consumer packaged goods and hedge funds that use its offering to perform due diligence, TechCrunch noted.
How it works: Placer collects geolocation and proximity data from devices that are enabled to share that information by their users, and creates anonymized and aggregated consumer profiles. Founded in 2016, customers include JLL, retail center operators Brixmor and Taubman, along with Planet Fitness and Dollar General.
What comes next: The startup plans to use the money on R&D, in addition to hiring more sales and marketing staff. Its last funding announcement was in January 2020 for a $12 million Series A.
Heard on the Street: Co-Founder and CEO Noam Ben-Zvi said many retailers are trying to reimagine how they use spaces, including adding consumer experiences, storage, or pickup options. “Mobile location analytics is an important ingredient.” [TechCrunch]