When it comes to the promises of persistent location hyper-awareness, the promises of mobile have largely fallen flat. While this has been a bummer for consumers looking for more contextual services from the apps they have installed, this has also been a pain for marketers keen to get their hands on more quality user data.
Bluedot Innovation wants to tackle this by building out tech that can zero-in on smartphone users’ locations in the background. Bluedot announced today that they have raised $5.5 million in Series A funding led by a major toll road company, Transurban. The Melbourne startup has raised $13 million to date.
The startup’s tech focuses on dialing in user location data to just a few meters so that companies utilizing the API can tell whether their marketing efforts are actually turning into consumers visiting physical locations. There are no shortage of players in this space, what makes Bluedot unique, the company insists, is their focus on R&D to develop more precise, low-power solutions that rely on networks a variety of sensors in the phone to deliver data insightful enough that customers can distinguish what users are doing in tighter urban areas and how they’re getting around.
It is certainly creepy, and though the company’s assertion that all is well because the data is anonymized may follow along with best practices from other adtech startups, allowing an app to track you at all times is a lot of information to be handing out.
Bluedot had initially focused its efforts entirely on developing a service that could make mobile payments for toll roads, the idea being that rather than having to install something on your windshield, you could just download an app, allow persistent location access and whenever you drive through a tollway that had been mapped within the app, you would make a payment without any friction.
The startup’s ambitions have certainly expanded since then, particularly through a partnership with Salesforce, though given the fact that this round was led by a toll road company it suffices to say that this use case is still firmly within their sights. In November, the startup released the LinktGO app with Transurban, which allows Australian users to make toll road payments from their phone.
The startup says its using this latest fund raise to build out its U.S. office in San Francisco and its Melbourne HQ where it plans to double its current staff of 30 employees.