Berlin start-up Zeotap, which helps mobile telecom operators monetise their data, announced Series A funding of $6.4m from Capnamic Ventures, Iris Capital, angels and existing investors. Zeotap plans to use the cash injection to expand internationally, particularly within India.
India is set to surpass the US to become the second-largest smartphone market by 2017, says Strategy Analytics. Tapping into this huge market opportunity, Zeotap recently signed one of the larger Indian carriers and plans to substantially grow its team of engineers in Bangalore, India, led by Ameya Agnihotri, who joins the company from Airpush. Projjol Banerjea, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Zeotap, says:
“The numbers in India are not very large in absolute terms today, but there is a lot of potential there. There’s going to be a rapid uptick in the sheer number of smartphones and operators are interested in making the most of the opportunity.”
The company’s current client list includes Vodafone, O2 and Telefonica. Such telecoms carriers are sitting on a wealth of high quality data. However, in order to utilise these for advertising they have to adhere to strict privacy legislation and zero data leakage obligations. Zeotap helps to convert this data into something that can be used as part of a marketing ecosystem, by stripping email addresses and phone numbers from a user’s mobile identifier. Banerjea adds:
“Most of the data in the ad market today is primarily probabilistic, but operators have deterministic data. If they just release that kind of valuable user data into the ecosystem, they lose control of it.”
In addition, the company has begun to work with publishers to deliver better content to end users and improve their experiences, ultimately lowering the number of bad quality mobile ads.