Now, sensors in physical stores are helping to make proximity relevant, and startup Unacast is announcing a seed round of $1.6 million so it can become the backend. As soon as the customer leaves [a store or venue with a beacon], he or she becomes invisible, until they resurface in the same location. What the customer did before and after the visit is unknown.
The Oslo, Norway-based company, which has opened an office in London and is planning one for New York City, has a vision that may excite many marketers and worry at least some consumers.
To fill in where you went after you left that store, the seven-month-old Unacast is partnering with proximity solution providers, or PSPs. These are companies largely focused on installing and maintaining beacons, but some also track point-of-sale (POS) systems and Web calls prompted by QR code scans of products in stores.
Unacast also has a media platform that creates anonymous user profiles with that information, enabling more targeted marketing. For example, the University of Mississippi mentioned in the funding announcement that Unacast’s data will enable the school to offer a pizza coupon to a fan visiting the football stadium because his anonymous profile indicated multiple visits to pizzerias in the past month.