Location data startup Bluedot raises $9.1M

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Bluedot, a geofencing and location data startup used by companies like Dunkin’, KFC and McDonald’s, is announcing that it has raised $9.1 million in Series B funding.

The San Francisco-headquartered company claims that its technology its 20 times more accurate than competing solutions — something that CEO Emil Davityan attributed to its roots in the toll road industry, where it needed to deliver “lane-level” accuracy.

“Since then, we’ve delivered location-based solutions for retail, restaurants and other verticals,” Davityan told me via email. “The focus is on valuable, contactless experiences that prioritize the consumer’s needs.”

The company is extending its capabilities with the launch of a new product called Tempo, which is supposed to incorporate data like traffic patterns — and even the time it takes to get in and out of a car — to deliver real-time alerts when a customer is approaching.

That sounds particularly desirable in the middle of a pandemic, when businesses are increasingly interacting with customers via curbside pickup and drive-through — and presumably want to minimize contact even when the customers are inside the store. It also sounds a little creepy, but Davityan emphasized that the data is encrypted and anonymized.

“We don’t collect personal data, or track, share, or sell location data,” he said. “It’s easy to make claims about being ‘privacy friendly.’ The real challenge is to live and breathe it, to make it central to your business.”

Bluedot says its footprint — as measured by unique monthly users — has increased 2,471% over the past year, and that it’s now powering more than 121 million location events each month.

The startup has now raised a total of $21.9 million. The new funding was led by Autotech Ventures, with participation from previous backer Transurban and new investors Forefront Ventures, IAG Firemark Ventures and Mighty Capital. Autotech’s Alexei Andreev is joining the Bluedot board, with Mighty Capital’s Jennifer Azapian joining as board observer.

“Software that can enable businesses to minimize contact is vital,” Andreev said in a statement. “Moving forward, we see the market favoring contactless solutions and Bluedot is poised to meet this demand. Bluedot’s differentiated offering, focus on consumer experience, and scalability are key factors for any business’s future success, especially as we all rethink mobility and brand interactions.”

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