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Factual Raises $35 Million For Global Expansion, More Geo-Data Tools For Mobile Publishers

Also, expect Factual to take a broader look at the way mapping the physical world for digital devices takes it beyond geo-targeted ads.

Factual's Vikas Gupta
Factual’s Vikas Gupta

Location data specialist Factual has raised a $35 million second round funding as the company works to grow its geographical footprint, as well as solidify its engineering capabilities to aggregate geo-analytics for purposes that would appear to provide a deeper level of place-based insights than just advertising for publishers and brands. (Read the release.)

The round was supported by a wide range of backers including Altpoint Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Data Collective, Haystack Partners, Heritage Group, Index Ventures, Miramar Ventures, Tamarisk Global, and Upfront Ventures, as well as Saif Mansour, Tom Unterman, and Hollywood media mogul Michael Ovitz. With this funding, the the nine-year-old Los Angeles-based company has raised total of $62 million to date.

The round comes as digital publishers like Facebook and on-demand app-based services like Uber look to take more control of their location information, while navigation providers like MapQuest and Apple Maps are considered more relevant as consumers and companies look for complements and alternatives to Google’s mapping dominance.

“Factual is an engineering led company and investing is our core technology and data assets is always a priority, so we will continue to invest heavily in improving our ability to build high quality data at scale and to invest in our APIs, on device drivers, and on-premise solutions that make the data more accessible to mobile developers and mobile advertising platforms,”  Vikas Gupta, Factual’s director of marketing and operations, told GeoMarketing. “Alongside our increased engineering investments we are scaling our sales and marketing teams both here in the US and overseas, with our first international sales hire planned for the UK.”

For the past two years, Factual has aimed its services at the growing demand for location data by building up its two main analytics products, Geopulse Proximity and Geopulse Audience, for demand-side platforms and networks such as The Trade Desk, Adelphic, Metamarkets, StrikeAd, Turn, Manage, Deep Forest Media, EQ Works, MdotM, Juice Mobile, Adsmovil, TAPTAP; publishers like The Weather Company, Yelp, and Facebook; as well as trading desks including Interpublic Group’s Cadreon, WPP’s Data Alliance group, and independent media shop Horizon (HX).

More recently, Factual began powering the analytics behind Apple Maps and Microsoft’s Bing.

“We’re going to continue to focus on location data — with the caveat that to us, location data encompasses everything about anything that happens in the physical world, so we have a fairly broad definition of location data,” Gupta said. “As such, aggregating more location data will always be a key goal for us, and our identity as a neutral data company and our mission of making data successful aren’t going to change. In 2016 look to see us expand and improve the capabilities we offer to mobile publishers, mobile ad platforms, and mobile developers to make it easier for them to incorporate high quality location data to improve their ad targeting capabilities and to improve the app experience for mobile users.”