Location has become an important and ever-present part of the mobile app experience, but for developers and marketers, understanding the information gleaned from it and how to take action can be confusing. Radar offers a tool to take all the guesswork out of using location — it’ll take the data you want to collect, analyze it, and provide you with actionable results. The company is launching today with $500,000 in backing from startup studio Expa.
Radar was founded last year by Nick Patrick and Coby Berman, both former employees at Foursquare. The company seeks to be what Mixpanel is to analytics, Stripe is to payments, or Twilio to communications. Developers can add an SDK to their app, establish a geofence around the area they want to target, and receive event data.
“The problem we’re solving is that it’s still too hard to build products and services with location,” said Patrick in an email interview with VentureBeat. He explained how difficult it was when he helped build the on-demand professional cleaning service Handy, explaning that the team needed to:
- build background location-tracking that was accurate, battery efficient, and consistent across iOS and Android, through lots of trial and error
- geocode and set up geofences for bookings and service zones
- build dashboards with Google Maps integration
- listen for location updates and determine when to update booking status and send push notifications
- store location and event data for analysis
And that’s just one app. What happens when you have multiple apps with different needs and use cases? Radar said it offers an open and well-rounded solution that includes an SDK, API, dashboard, and webhooks and can support any location data set to accomplish what would otherwise take weeks. You just set up the structure and Radar will curate the data from different sources. The company suggested that if you’re building a travel app, for example, data might come from either existing place databases or your own points of interest data set — it’s flexible in how it consumes information.
“Why doesn’t every ticketing app know when I’ve arrived at an event? Why doesn’t every shopping app know when I’m at a retail store? Why doesn’t every dating app know when I’m out and recommend matches nearby?” Patrick questioned. “The opportunity here is massive, and we think that Radar can be the platform that finally unlocks it.”
Using Radar is free, but you’re limited to 1,000 monthly tracked users and active geofences. If you have additional needs, the company provides customized plans.