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Loc-Aid lands $13M to spread cross-carrier location-based services

Loc-Aid, a location-as-a-service company that connects mobile enterprises to wireless subscribers, has secured $13 million in a Series C financing round to support the company’s growth.  

The round was led by private equity firm H.I.G. Growth Partners, venture firm Intersouth Partners and the Florida Growth Fund LLC, managed by Hamilton Lane LLC. In 2010, Loc-Aid secured commercial connections with all of the largest North American wireless carriers, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Sprint.

“This is a historic event—it is largest round of funding in the location-as-a-service industry, and it is an indicator of what is happening here in mobile marketing, wireless and location-based services,” said Rip Gerber, president/CEO of Loc-Aid, San Francisco. “The platform is built, and we’re connected into all of the tier-one carriers in North Amerca, so we’re not using this to create the platform or build the product.

“The funding will probably be invested in sales and marketing, the growth side of the business,” he said. “Now that we are connected to the carriers, the supply side, this capital will go towards the demand side—business development and account management of large brands and banks and getting them location-enabled for all of their mobile applications.

“Our APIs work for location regardless of the type of device, content, application or experience.”

Loc-Aid provides real-time, mobile location information to any mobile device, letting enterprises and mobile users take advantage of location-based services.

The company’s customer base comprises organizations in the financial services, retail, healthcare, machine-to-machine, education, ecommerce, entertainment and hospitality industries.

Location aids marketers, developers
Loc-Aid has built a proprietary location platform that it claims lets mobile developers enable any location-based service for any application on any wireless device.

This round of funding will be invested to expand Loc-Aid’s location technology and bolster its ability to connect enterprise developers to wireless customers for various location-based services, including fraud prevention, proximity marketing, asset management, presence and check-in services.

Mr. Gerber said that Loc-Aid has made network-based location data available to the enterprise developer community.

In the past year, Loc-Aid secured network agreements and processed commercial location transactions on all tier-one carriers in the United States and Canada. It is the only location-as-a-service provider on Microsoft’s developer zone.

The company claims that its reach includes more than 90 percent of all wireless subscribers in the United States, Canada and Mexico, representing a footprint of 300 million-plus mobile subscribers and wireless devices.

Loc-Aid specializes in mobile location privacy management, developer opt-in guidelines, permission-based location enablement and providing location look-ups for third-party application developers.

The company also offers a portfolio of location-enablement services, including geo-fencing, geo-coding, map appends and location analytics.

“We are integrated with the carrier networks, so as long as consumer permission is there, a brand or bank can utilize that location for whatever campaign or service they want to run, without the consumer having to download an app,” Mr. Gerber said. “Mobile advertising is really starting to take off.

“There is really only one place to go for network-based location if you want to hit most of the subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, and that that is through us,” he said. “We are the carriers’ designated location API provider, and that was a big reason we attracted this funding.”

Final Take
Mr. Gerber