Location-based profile company Near raises $100m to track consumers in the real world
Near, a company that offers location-based customer profiling, has raised $100 million from a London venture capital firm.
The funding is reported to be the largest investment ever made in a startup operating in this field of martech.
Near provides a cloud-based platform that offers profiles created from data sourced from phones and network providers.
The data allows businesses to track physical consumer behaviour, as opposed to that conducted online.
For example, brands could be able to see when consumers enter their brick-and-mortar stores, as well as when they visit their websites.
Near says the data is completely anonymised and that the service is built "with privacy by design," but it is likely to deepen fears about marketers' encroachment on private citizens' privacy.
Last month the Information Commissioner's Office said the adtech industry was systematically breaking the law in its conduct around online advertising.
The ICO said real-time-bidding practices pose a fundamental threat to consumer privacy.