Sense Networks, a company that crunches location data in order to group anonymous mobile users into ‘tribes’, has secured $6 million in financing led by Intel, according to VentureBeat head Matt Marshall. The company, one of my LBS companies to watch in 2009, grabbed the cash after a bit of an investment battle. According to Marshall, Sequoia Capital moved to pressure Sense Networks into taking money from it exclusively, but Sense chief executive Greg Skibiski shot them down (in my opinion, a smart move).
While VentureBeat has all the details about the battle, at the core of the tug-of-war is Sense Network’s approach to advertising. Its MacroSense software, which uses complex machine learning algorithms, can analyze massive mobile phone location data patterns to group people into ‘tribes’ with others demonstrating similar movement patterns. Because of the accuracy the analysis provides, Sense can help LBS social networks and advertising providers target ads so precisely that investors very obviously believe there’ll be a huge return on investment in the future.
Sense Networks has a demo application called CitySense for a variety of mobile phones that displays how the technology works at a basic level. Behind the scenes the company crunches location data in order to provide a heat map of the hottest places in San Francisco. Try it out and it’s immediately apparent how Sense Networks will be a big name in location-based mobile advertising.