Near raises $100M for an AI that merges online and offline behavior to build consumer profiles

One of the holy grails in the world of advertising and marketing has been finding a way to accurately capture and understand what consumers are doing throughout the day, regardless of whether it’s a digital or offline activity. That goal has become even more elusive in recent years, with the surge of regulations around privacy and data protection that limit what kind of information can be collected and used. Now, a startup believes it’s cracked the code, and it’s raised a large round of funding that underscores its success so far and what it believes is untapped future demand.

Near, which has built an interactive, cloud-based AI platform called AllSpark that works across 44 countries to create anonymised, location-based profiles of users — 1.6 billion each month at present — based on a trove of information that it sources and then merges from phones, data partners, carriers and its customers, but which it claims was built “with privacy by design”, has raised $100 million.

The company believes that this Series C — from a single backer, Great Pacific Capital out of London — is one of the biggest rounds ever to be raised in this particular area of marketing technology. That’s

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