- PlaceIQ acquired a rival location tracking business from Canadian company Freckle. PlaceIQ plans to integrate FreckleIOT into its platform that provides data about mobile users, helping advertisers to measure the effects of their campaigns on foot traffic, according to an announcement.
- The acquisition of FreckeIOT will broaden PlaceIQ's service to new industries and territories in Canada, while expanding the scale of its audience measurement among media channels. Terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
- Freckle management will focus on FreckleIOT's sister company Killi, a blockchain-powered app that lets consumers earn money from advertisers who have paid for their personal data.
PlaceIQ's acquisition of FreckleIOT will likely help the location data company to expand more quickly as the industry consolidates around a group of bigger players. The announcement of the deal follows Foursquare's merger with rival Factual to combine their expertise in using smartphone data for targeted advertising and measurement of foot traffic.
In other signs of consolidation, location data company X-Mode earlier this year bought the location data assets of Location Sciences, a U.K. provider of geotargeting verification services. Foursquare last year also acquired Placed, a location tracking company founded in 2011, from Snapchat, while analytics company Cuebiq snapped up the location data business of LiveRamp.
While the coronavirus pandemic has recently limited people's movements as they stay home and practice social distancing, location data companies are still seeing demand from retailers and restaurants that need the insights to connect more effectively with consumers. FreckleIOT has specialized in using location data and attribution for social and search channels, another area that PlaceIQ hasn't developed as much, AdExchanger reported.
Before the pandemic disrupted the marketing plans for many advertisers, the location data industry was forecast to show strong growth as marketers looked for more consumer insights gleaned from smartphones. Yearly spending on location analytics is forecast to reach $15 billion by 2023 from $8.35 billion in 2017, data company Placer.ai said in a study cited by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the sharing of location data has faced growing privacy scrutiny from cities and states, potentially shunting its effectiveness.