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Near raises US$19 million in Series B funding to accelerate global expansion

Near, a leading location intelligence company, today announced it has raised US$19 million from Telstra Ventures and Global Brain as part of its strategic plan to expand into multiple new markets. Both its existing investors, Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners, also participated in the capital raising round.

Near has developed insights from anonymous device users across Asia Pacific using their historical location footprint and real-world offline data. Leveraging these unique insights, the company is able to programmatically send relevant ads to mobile audiences on behalf of advertisers using its proprietary real-time bidding platform. It has rapidly grown its client base to include 100s of marquee brands such as P&G, Woolworths, Audi, Unilever, BMW, Ford, Samsung, IKEA, and Adidas .

Mark Sherman, Managing Director at Telstra Ventures said, "Mobile advertising continues to grow rapidly across Asia Pacific. Telstra Ventures recognizes the value that Near’s probabilistic, data-driven approach brings to advertisers and we’re excited to be able to provide capital to accelerate the expansion of Near’s operations." Mark Sherman will now join the Near Board of Directors.

Anil Mathews, CEO of Near said, “We’re thrilled to be joined by investors such as Telstra Ventures and Global Brain in this journey. Our proprietary technology enables us to help major brands across Asia Pacific fine-tune their consumer targeting by having access to real-time location intelligence. Location data-driven insights are extremely powerful and marketers can use these data points to understand consumer behaviour and also build customized campaigns as per their target audience.” Mathews also added: “We are constantly experimenting with location datasets for various use-cases and will be productizing some of these in the coming months.”

Yasuhiko Yurimoto, President and CEO, Global Brain Corp said, “We appreciated Near's superior technologies and highly experienced team, and firmly believe that Near will become a leading player in the global adtech market in the near future."

Mohit Bhatnagar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital said, “Near has been focused on analyzing location data at scale to understand user behaviour, and the response from clients across markets has been phenomenal. We believe that markets such as Japan present significant opportunities for Near’s technology and we look forward to leveraging our expertise and network to help the company succeed in these markets.”

Commenting on the investment, Rahul Khanna, Managing Director of Canaan India, said, “Over the last year, Near has seen a 12x growth in its device user base and we are very excited about Near taking its offerings to new markets. With data-driven marketing opportunities increasing by the day, Near’s data insights become very valuable”

In 2012 Near closed its Series A round of funding of US$6.3 million from Sequoia Capital and Canaan Partners to support its expansion in the Asia Pacific region and grow the team. It has since been adding approximately 1.2 million anonymous device users daily to its probabilistic profiles database.

About Near

Near is the largest location intelligence platform providing real-time information on places, people and products. The Near platform powers its flagship product to leverage historical location and context for data driven marketing.

Founded in 2012, Near is headquartered in Singapore with a presence across Australia, South East Asia, Japan, India and Europe. To date, the company has more than 700 million profiled audiences and have put it to work for marquee brands such as P&G, Coca Cola, Ikea, Audi, McDonald’s, Toyota, Nike and Samsung.

Near is backed by investments from leading venture capitalists Sequoia Capital, JPM Private Equity Group, Telstra Ventures and Global Brain Japan.

Visit Near to find out more.

About Telstra and Telstra Ventures

Telstra is a leading Australian telecommunications and information services company, offering a full range of communications services and competing in all telecommunications markets. Telstra Ventures invests in market leading, high growth companies that are strategically aligned with Telstra to offer high quality, new products and services to its customers. Based in Australia and Silicon Valley, Telstra Ventures works closely with quality entrepreneurs to build significant companies. Globally, Telstra Ventures has been an investor in companies such as Box, Dimmi, DocuSign, FredIT, HealthEngine, IPHealth, IPScape, Kony, Matrixx, Mandoe, Nexmo, Ooyala, TeleSign, and Whispir.  For more details, please visit telstra ventures

About Global Brain Corporation

Global Brain is a Tokyo-based independent venture capital founded in 1998, which focuses on seed to middle stage IT startup companies in Japan and foreign countries. It currently manages 5 funds with a total amount of $300 million. It is well known for its intensive, hands-on style investments with a dedicated in-house business support team, along with its growth-hack assistance utilizing its extensive network with large corporations. Further information is available at: Global Brains

About Sequoia

Sequoia Capital in India currently manages funds capitalized at close to US$2 billion and invests across venture, growth, and late stage opportunities. It takes a long-term view on investments and plays the role of an active, value-added partner to entrepreneurs, business families and management teams. Over the past 8 years, Sequoia Capital has invested in more than 75 companies in India. Globally, Sequoia Capital has been an early investor in companies such as Apple, Cisco, Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn, Oracle, Yahoo, YouTube and Zappos. Sequoia Capital maintains dedicated teams in USA, China, India and Israel. For more information, please visit: Sequoia capital

About Canaan

Canaan Partners is a global venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas. With $3.4 billion under management and over 150 exits to date, Canaan has funded some of the world's leading technology companies including PrimeSense, Skybox Imaging and Virsto as well as healthcare stars like Labrys Biologics, Chimerix and Advanced BioHealing. Current technology investments include Cardlytics, eBates, Kabam, Lending Club, SOASTA and Zoosk in the U.S.; BharatMatrimony, Naaptol and UnitedLex in India; and LiveU in Israel. For more details, please visit Canaan

The news was covered in: The Business Times, Tech In Asia, B&T , The Economic Times , Mint , Tech Crunch