Placecast Secures an Additional $3 Million in Series B Funding to Expand Its Location-Based Mobile Marketing Service, ShopAlerts

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ONSET Ventures, Quatrex Capital, and Voyager Capital all participate in follow-on financing

Furthermore, when the opportunities which location offers are factored in – tailoring advertising to where an individual is at a given time – then the value of such advertising rises considerably.

Placecast, creator of the most scalable, proven, location-based marketing platform currently available, today announced that they have raised an additional $3 million in Series B funding from current investors, Quatrex Capital, ONSET Ventures and Voyager Capital, to expand their ShopAlerts location-based marketing service.

Major brands such as the The North Face, SONIC Drive-in and American Eagle have already begun running location-triggered mobile messaging programs on the ShopAlerts service. ShopAlerts delivers location-triggered mobile messages when consumers enter geo-fences , which can be created around any physical location. With substantial interest from retailers and large companies in the carrier, handset and digital media industries, Placecast will use the funding to continue to rollout its service to a larger network of retailers.

Placecast’s ShopAlerts service has transformed the retail industry already within the first few months of its launch. ShopAlerts took home the top prize given out by the National Retail Federation known as the 2010 RACIE Award as well as finalist distinctions for best mobile marketing technology by top global and U.S. wireless organizations such as the GSMA and CTIA E-Tech Awards. The $3 million adds to their Series B round of funding of $5 million raised in November of 2009 making the total round $8 million.

How ShopAlerts works:
Placecast's ShopAlerts service is a retailer marketing solution. Retailers leverage the technology to create their own version of the service; consumers choose the brands they love, and may opt-in through many ways - in store, online, via text-message, mobile website, or social network (like Facebook). Once ShopAlerts is activated, consumers go about their day and the service automatically alerts them when they are near a location that they are interested in or when the brand is offering sales and specials.

Unlike many new mobile advertising innovations available only as applications on smartphones, ShopAlerts works on any phone, which is a benefit for retailers who wish to reach the 196 million Americans who do not own smartphones but are interested in such shopping deals.

What is a geo-fence?
ShopAlerts geo-fences are virtual boundaries that can be targeted via location-based marketing. Using geo-fencing technology, the service enables retailers to talk to their customers when they are near a store, shopping nearby, or doing other things they enjoy. Geo-fences can be created around any location and are set to trigger a personalized marketing message to opted-in consumers entering the defined area on their mobile phones. Customized messages are created and delivered automatically to shoppers creating a trusted, one-to-one communication channel based on place and time.

“After seeing considerable momentum for our new ShopAlerts service, we’re looking forward to making it an indispensable solution for every major physical retailer across the U.S. and beyond,” said Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast.

According to a recent report commissioned by Juniper Research, the mobile location-based services market will be worth more than $12 billion by 2014. In addition, the mobile marketing and retail strategies report predicts advertising will take an increasing share of location-based revenues in the next five years.

“While the mobile channel typically accounts for a very small proportion of marketing budget, we’re seeing clear indications that with brands placing greater emphasis on engagement and quantifiable measurement of campaign response rates, mobile is emerging is an attractive means of reaching consumers 24/7 with targeted, opt-in advertising, “said Windsor Holden, Principal Analyst for Juniper Research. “Furthermore, when the opportunities which location offers are factored in – tailoring advertising to where an individual is at a given time – then the value of such advertising rises considerably.”

“Placecast is demonstrating substantial progress in monetizing the emerging location-based mobile marketing ecosystem through their carrier-grade platform,” said Susan Mason, Managing Partner at Onset Ventures. “They have assembled a talented team with expertise in digital media, location-data management, and mobile, and established exceptional partnerships with world-class mobile and media partners. We are excited about their track record to date and look forward to helping the company redefine mobile marketing.”

About Placecast

Placecast is the first location-based platform specifically designed to use digital marketing on mobile to drive consumers into physical environments.

1020’s groundbreaking Placecast service is the 2010 National Retail Federation RACIE Award winner for best mobile retail technology. Current partners include NAVTEQ and Alcatel-Lucent, and marketers include the North Face, Sonic, American Eagle, FedEx Office, and Avis and Budget Rental Cars. Placecast is funded by ONSET Ventures, Quatrex Capital, and Voyager Capital.

About ONSET Ventures

ONSET Ventures specializes in providing an ideal mix of start-up, follow-on, and intellectual capital to entrepreneurs and early-stage technology ventures, to help transform world-class ideas into sustainable and valuable businesses, through a process of “venture craftsmanship.” The firm has backed over 100 companies since 1984 and now has more than $1 billion under management.

ONSET Ventures focuses exclusively on information and medical technology-based start-ups, and has a long history of successful ventures in each of these sectors.

About Quatrex Capital

Quatrex Capital is a consortium of European media executives dedicated to technological innovation in the digital media space. 1020 Placecast is the fund’s first investment in North America.

About Voyager Capital

Voyager Capital is a leading West Coast information technology venture firm, providing entrepreneurs with the resources, experience, and connections to build successful companies. Voyager invests in early and growth stage digital media, wireless, and software companies, where the firm’s domain expertise and “go-to-market” resources help build market leaders. Voyager Capital has $370 million under management with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Menlo Park, California.


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