Home ANTBITES (Media Releases) This Telstra-backed AI platform has raised US$100 million for expansion and new...

This Telstra-backed AI platform has raised US$100 million for expansion and new offerings


Near, the platform that uses AI to make real-world data actionable, today announced that it has raised USD$100M (AUD$143M) in a Series D funding round.

The Telstra Ventures and Sequoia Capital backed data company secured its recent capital injection from private equity firm Greater Pacific Capital (GPC).

In Australia, Near counts News Corp Australia, MCN and Telstra as key customers among others. Near holds the largest data-set of people’s behaviour in the real-world, with over 1.6 billion users worldwide.

Its technology allows brands, enterprises and publishers to use unique real-world signals such as location and transaction for data enrichment and marketing, in a privacy-led environment.

Founded in 2012, Near is one of the world’s largest source of intelligence on people and places, processing data from over 1.6 billion monthly users across 44 countries.

The Near Platform powers data-driven marketing and enrichment offerings through a suite of SaaS products. The users of the platform can leverage audience, spatial, retail, among other data in a privacy-led environment.

Where will the funds be channeled?

“We are humbled that we were able to close one of the largest rounds in our industry. It is a testament to our offering backed by unique data-sets and powerful science,” said Anil Mathews, Founder & CEO, Near.

“With the new funds, we will be investing heavily in data and engineering to launch a suite of new products, that’ll help strengthen our position in existing markets such as Australia and the US, and open up key strategic markets,” said Mr. Mathews.

Near has seen unprecedented traction and growth since the launch of its flagship SaaS product, Allspark, the first of its kind in the industry. Allspark enables end-to-end marketing automation for clients and partners across more than 20 countries.

“We are the only company aggregating this quality and scale of data at a global level, and are the number one source of intelligence on human mobility in Asia-Pacific.

“No other player has invested as much into the Australian market as we have over the past five years, so we have a lot of legacy data here, making our data science models work more effectively. Australia is one of our core markets and we’ll be investing heavily in expanding our partnerships here,” continued Mr. Mathews.

Existing partners in Australia include News Corp Australia who work with Near to enhance the capabilities of News Connect, their audience activation platform.

“Our strategic partnership with Near has helped us take News Connect to new levels. We’ve been able to unlock greater potential in our data by enriching it with the real-world data from the Near platform, helping us uncover new audience characteristics.

“This has helped us enhance our capability to deliver 1,900 customer segments to our clients. It is a true game-changer for Australian marketers,“ said Suzie Cardwell, General Manager of Data Commercialisation, News Corp Australia.

What do the investors think of Near?

Telstra Ventures, one of Near’s early investors believe that starting early in the Australian market has given Near a competitive edge.

“We first invested in Near in 2014 when the use of real-world data, especially location data, in marketing and decision-making was still nascent. Near is one of the market leaders in the Australian market when it comes to understanding real-world consumer behaviours in real-time.

“Global customers including some of Telstra clients have been able to drive business value from the actionable, and easy to access intelligence provided by the Near Platform,” said Gurpreet Ghuliani, Head of Strategic Synergy, Telstra Ventures.

Early this year, Near launched its enrichment offering CARBON to help publishers and enterprises provide personalised consumer experiences and make smarter business decisions.

Customers can select real-world attributes such as brand affinity, home location, dwell time, distance travelled etc., and enrich their first-party data.

Ketan Patel, CEO, Greater Pacific Capital, commented, “Near provides insights into human behaviour by analysing where people are, and combining that with a multitude of data points to predict and influence behaviour.

Given it does this across the globe in a privacy protected manner, it is well-positioned to create an exciting new space that delivers value to both people, and those that wish to build relationships with them.”

With a global presence across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific, Near is the only true global player in the industry.

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