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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Seattle startup tells advertisers where you are, or were

Consumers may be uncomfortable with the way online advertisers are tracking and targeting them, but that’s not stopping advances in advertising technology.

Today Seattle startup Placed today is offering a public beta of its new tools for analyzing where people have been with their mobile devices, to finely tune mobile advertising.

The system works with mobile applications that have received permission from users to track location information. In other words, it tracks people who have agreed to be tracked by apps on their phones or other mobile devices.

Placed is pitching its service to developers and marketers as a way to understand where their audience has been and how close they are to places in the physical world, such as stores. Mobile advertisers can use the system to improve “discoverability” of places. It can also be used to analyze how location affects interactions with apps.

Placed offers app owners daily reports showing businesses, business categories, user traffic patterns and heat maps.

“Placed quantifies the value of location for mobile content creators and advertisers,” Jeff Lanctot, Razorfish chief marketing officer, said in the release. “It’s a unique offering, and one that will be well received. App developers will use Placed Analytics to differentiate their inventory, and marketers will use it to better understand their mobile prospects and customers.”

The team includes veterans of Microsoft and Quantcast. Founder and Chief Executive David Shim was previously product director at Quantcast.

The company, backed by Madrona Venture Group, has 13 employees and raised $3.4 million in March. It was founded in February 2011.

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