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A potentially life-saving app maps the globe into 57 trillion squares, each with a unique address

A potentially life-saving app maps the globe into 57 trillion squares, each with a unique address

what3words aims to solve a growing problem in a digital age — the outdated postal code and street address system. The idea is simple: every three meter square on the globe has a unique three word address. 

what3words works with emergency services in the UK to help them reach people in need faster. Read more…

More about Maps, Postal, Addresses, Location Data, and Tech

FCC confirms wireless carriers broke federal law by selling location data

FCC confirms wireless carriers broke federal law by selling location data

The other shoe is about to drop for wireless carriers that violated customer privacy. 

On Friday, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai, a Donald Trump appointee, informed the House of Representatives that an investigation into the unauthorized sale of users’ real-time location data had concluded. The inquiry, which began in early 2019 following numerous investigative reports into the matter, found at least one carrier broke federal law.

“Following our longstanding calls to take action, the FCC finally informed the Committee today that one or more wireless carriers apparently violated federal privacy protections by turning a blind eye to the widespread disclosure of consumers’ real-time location data,” said Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chairman to the Energy and Commerce Committee, in a statement. Read more…

More about Fcc, Location Data, Tech, Smartphones, and Consumer Tech

Placer.ai, a location data analytics startup, raises $12 million Series A

Placer.ai, a startup that analyzes location and foot traffic analytics for retailers and other businesses, announced today that it has closed a $12 million Series A. The round was led by JBV Capital, with participation from investors including Aleph, Reciprocal Ventures and OCA Ventures.

The funding will be used on research and development of new features and to expand Placer.ai’s operation in the United States.

Launched in 2016, Placer.ai’s SaaS platform gives its clients to real-time data that helps them make decisions like where to rent or buy properties, when to hold sales and promotions and how to manage assets.

Placer.ai analyzes foot traffic and also creates consumer profiles to help clients make marketing and ad spending decisions. It does this by collecting geolocation and proximity data from devices that are enabled to share that information. Placer.ai’s co-founder and CEO Noam Ben-Zvi says the company protects privacy and follows regulation by displaying aggregated, anonymous data and does not collect personally identifiable data. It also does not sell advertising or raw data.

The company currently serves clients in the retail (including large shopping centers), commercial real estate and hospitality verticals, including JLL, Regency, SRS, Brixmor, Verizon* and Caesars Entertainment.

“Up until now, we’ve been heavily focused on the commercial real estate sector, but this has very organically led us into retail, hospitality, municipalities and even [consumer packaged goods],” Ben-Zvi told TechCrunch in an email. “This presents us with a massive market, so we’re just focused on building out the types of features that will directly address the different needs of our core audience.”

He adds that lack of data has hurt retail businesses with major offline operations, but that “by effectively addressing this gap, we’re helpiong drive more sustainable growth or larger players or minimizing the risk for smaller companies to drive expansion plans that are strategically aggressive.”

Others startups in the same space include Dor, Aislelabs, RetailNext, ShopperTrak and Density. Ben-Zvi says Placer. ai wants to differentiate by providing more types of real-time data analysis.

While there are a lot of companies touching the location analytics space, we’re in a unique situation as the only company providing these deep and actionable insights for any location in the country in a real-time platform with a wide array of functionality,” he said.

*Disclosure: Verizon Media is the parent company of TechCrunch.