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Poynt, a location-based mobile search engine from Multiplied Media, today announced the launch of the Poynt Offer Engine, an advertising tool for local businesses to push promotions to potential customers nearby.

Poynt, available on the iPhone, Android phones, and BlackBerrys, lets users search for services and products and provides results based on their location at the time of the search. Upon launching the app, the users can choose from five categories: restaurants, movies, businesses, people and gas.  From there, they can either automatically see what’s in their area or search for something specific. Once a location is selected, the app provides key information like phone number, address, directions as well as the opportunity to save to a favorites section or send to a friend by email.

The Poynt Offer Engine leverages a techology called geo-fencing, which is the ability to define a physical area that triggers an action when a user with the right software on a location-aware mobile device enters it. Typical uses of geo-fencing are a business automatically sending a user an offer, coupon or special. For example, a restaurant could set up a promotion for $1 off any drink to be sent when a user approaches the restaurant during happy hour on a Saturday. The user has to have the application open and running to receive any offers.

For local businesses, the company has set up a dashboard which allows them to manage their promotions and see how many mobile users are in their area in real-time. Through the dashboard, a local business could also see how many promotions have been “redeemed.”

Poynt isn’t the only company looking to give local businesses advertising opportunities to people in their area. Most notably, Google recently launched mobile banner ads which know where you are. Those ads pinpoint a business on a small map, provide a click-to-call phone number, and offer directions.

Multiplied Media is a publicly traded Canadian company founded in 2002. The Poynt mobile application has been around since 2008 and downloaded over 4 million times, according to the company.

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