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Working in the mobile advertising business, New York City-based Xtify has been building its platform for brands and other app developers, allowing for geo-targeted notifications — most often, ads — that are pushed to consumers when they are within a predefined area, say a one-mile radius from a department store. The company has announced it has raised $2.8 million in a first round of institutional funding, which it is using to beef up its product development and team, currently ten-people strong.
Xtify picked up the funding from Acadia Woods Partners, SeventySix Capital and an undisclosed, significant New York-based angel investor. CEO Josh Rochlin says Xtify is looking to raise another sum of money in the fall, due to major announcements and partnerships that are rolling out soon, although he declined to disclose those just yet.
Xtify’s platform allows for brands, businesses and anyone building apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices to create and manage push notification campaigns. When users who have downloaded an app – for instance, an app for a clothes brand – are within a certain distance from a retailer, they will get a notification of a sale or special offer, or a prompt for whatever action the app developer desires, on their cell phone, much like the ones users get now when there are software updates available. The trick is that the app doesn’t have to be running in the foreground: Users will be notified even if the app is not currently in active use.
“This only applies to the users who have downloaded the app that notifies them, nobody gets spammed,” Rochlin explained. Xtify also keeps things anonymous, as no phone numbers or email addresses are collected. Instead, users in Xtify’s database are identified with random user keys, which are then paired with information about the device, such as the make and model of it, and its location.
Xtify faces competition from other location-based ad companies, such as San Francisco, Calif.-based Placecast, which runs geo-targeted ad campaigns, for instance pinging users with text messages when they are near a shop. Xtify says that the very fact that they have a background-running notification system is what differentiates them from the competition. In addition, the service is not reliant on getting a phone’s location from a carrier, nor is it using SMS, which makes the service cost-efficient, Xtify says.
Founded in 2009, Xtify launched at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last February, and the team is currently keeping its head down, building out the product. The major announcements that the company has in the pipeline in the following weeks will make for a big increase in traction for the platform, Rochlin says.
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