Mobile advertising platform targets ASEAN

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AnilMathews-Pic
Anil Mathews, CEO of AdNear

AdNear is Southeast Asia’s first location-based mobile advertising platform that works on feature phones as well as smartphones. This unique technology uses proprietary geo-location software, which allows for location awareness on mobile phones without the use of GPS or operator assistance. This extends AdNear’s reach to millions of consumers who use basic feature phones, and thereby gives the company a huge advantage in marketing itself to clients over rival firms.

This three-year-old startup company recently moved its headquarters from India to Singapore and is currently expanding its presence in Southeast Asia. AdNear’s CEO, Anil Mathews, recently explained to Tech in Asia that the company’s new strategy is to focus on the ASEAN region, using the highly-connected city of Singapore as a springboard.

Apart from its proprietary software, AdNear developed an innovative approach to mobile advertising that provides a unique service to clients. The company spent three years painstakingly trekking through cities and towns across India, Southeast Asia and Australia recording wireless information like WiFi hot spots and cell tower signals and plotting these out on geographical maps. This allows AdNear to check which WiFi signals or cell towers a customer is connected to and find his precise location. The customer then receives information regarding deals or discounts from retailers and other venues in the immediate vicinity.

Unlike many other mobile advertising programmes, however, AdNear opens in discreet bubbles on the side of screen and does not go out in text message form. This is likely a substantial benefit for the company as mobile phone users in the region are bombarded with text advertisements and regularly report deleting them in bulk without even viewing them.

AdNear started with modest seed capital in 2009, but got a massive injection last year. The company received $6.3 million from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners in December, which AdNear will use to expand its international presence and hire a large number of new employees for its sales team.

“From a consumer point of view it is only a pull actually, we don’t push ads, which means you won’t get an ad when you are walking around or are just near a store,” Mathews said in a recent interview with moneycontrol.com.

“It is always a pull, which means you are using an app, and then you see the ad. There are no privacy issues or anything like that and when you click on it you get a lot of engagement options such as click to route or click to call or click to coupon. And it really works very well because actually as a consumer I am happy to actually get that ad because it is not just a spam ad, it is useful information for me. I am actually seeing that, okay, here is an offer which is near me and here is a direction to reach there. So it is very valuable information that we are giving.”

AdNear currently has offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi in India, and in Singapore and Australia. Its biggest clients include Toyota, Titan, Ford, Pizza Hut, Samsung, Nokia and Airtel.

Here is a short video that explains how AdNear works:

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Anil Mathews, CEO of AdNear

AdNear is Southeast Asia’s first location-based mobile advertising platform that works on feature phones as well as smartphones. This unique technology uses proprietary geo-location software, which allows for location awareness on mobile phones without the use of GPS or operator assistance. This extends AdNear’s reach to millions of consumers who use basic feature phones, and thereby gives the company a huge advantage in marketing itself to clients over rival firms.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

AnilMathews-Pic
Anil Mathews, CEO of AdNear

AdNear is Southeast Asia’s first location-based mobile advertising platform that works on feature phones as well as smartphones. This unique technology uses proprietary geo-location software, which allows for location awareness on mobile phones without the use of GPS or operator assistance. This extends AdNear’s reach to millions of consumers who use basic feature phones, and thereby gives the company a huge advantage in marketing itself to clients over rival firms.

This three-year-old startup company recently moved its headquarters from India to Singapore and is currently expanding its presence in Southeast Asia. AdNear’s CEO, Anil Mathews, recently explained to Tech in Asia that the company’s new strategy is to focus on the ASEAN region, using the highly-connected city of Singapore as a springboard.

Apart from its proprietary software, AdNear developed an innovative approach to mobile advertising that provides a unique service to clients. The company spent three years painstakingly trekking through cities and towns across India, Southeast Asia and Australia recording wireless information like WiFi hot spots and cell tower signals and plotting these out on geographical maps. This allows AdNear to check which WiFi signals or cell towers a customer is connected to and find his precise location. The customer then receives information regarding deals or discounts from retailers and other venues in the immediate vicinity.

Unlike many other mobile advertising programmes, however, AdNear opens in discreet bubbles on the side of screen and does not go out in text message form. This is likely a substantial benefit for the company as mobile phone users in the region are bombarded with text advertisements and regularly report deleting them in bulk without even viewing them.

AdNear started with modest seed capital in 2009, but got a massive injection last year. The company received $6.3 million from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners in December, which AdNear will use to expand its international presence and hire a large number of new employees for its sales team.

“From a consumer point of view it is only a pull actually, we don’t push ads, which means you won’t get an ad when you are walking around or are just near a store,” Mathews said in a recent interview with moneycontrol.com.

“It is always a pull, which means you are using an app, and then you see the ad. There are no privacy issues or anything like that and when you click on it you get a lot of engagement options such as click to route or click to call or click to coupon. And it really works very well because actually as a consumer I am happy to actually get that ad because it is not just a spam ad, it is useful information for me. I am actually seeing that, okay, here is an offer which is near me and here is a direction to reach there. So it is very valuable information that we are giving.”

AdNear currently has offices in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi in India, and in Singapore and Australia. Its biggest clients include Toyota, Titan, Ford, Pizza Hut, Samsung, Nokia and Airtel.

Here is a short video that explains how AdNear works:

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