Near Intelligence Holdings Inc., a technology company that provides location and people data to marketers, is merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, and will be listed on the Nasdaq.
Pasadena Company Founder and CEO Anil Mathews said there were two reasons it decided to go public in conjunction with KludeIn I Acquisition Corp.
A public company gains credibility, he said, and it has access to the capital needed to grow and expand inorganically or through acquisitions.
“The combination of those two means it would be a good idea to go public,” Mathews added.
Near provides data to large and midsize companies, including CBRE Group Inc., the commercial real estate and investment services company; Dunkin, one of the world’s largest coffee shop and donut store chains, a subsidiary of Inspire Brands Inc.; Ford Motor Co.; and the German supermarket chain Aldi.
Simply put, Mathews described Near as an analyzer of consumer data in the physical and digital worlds to help his clients better understand their own customers.
During the pandemic, consumer behavior has changed. People who used to go to stores have migrated to online shopping.
What’s happened with retailers and restaurants is that they’re struggling to understand how these changes are affecting their business, Mathews said.
Say you’re a retailer and the biggest challenge you face is that the business understands its customers very well when they’re in the store – they know what they’re buying and in which aisles they spend the most time.
But the moment the customer goes out, that business loses it, Mathews said.
So they come to Near to get data on customer habits outside of the store – whether they go to a competitor, where they live and work, how much time they spend grocery shopping or shopping. gasoline, he said.
“They would use (the data) to better understand and engage with consumers and to understand how to get more customers from their competitors,” Mathews explained.
Near gets its data from a variety of sources, including carriers, apps, and Wi-Fi providers. All of this data is stripped of identifying information like names, phone numbers, or IP addresses, and then aggregated or collected in a dataset.
Matt Glaeser, senior vice president of digital media and data insights at Palisades Media Group, a marketing and advertising company headquartered in Santa Monica, said working with Near gives the company a leg up. ahead of the competition with datasets it hadn’t seen before.
“As an agency, we look for things that other people haven’t yet discovered in order to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” Glaeser said.
He added that Near has a truly unique product offering and there are many companies in the location data space that promise the world and don’t deliver.
“Near actually delivers on its promises,” Glaeser said. “Their data is true.”
Near’s datasets are interesting because they connect locations to demographics, he continued.
This allows him to get very detailed information about who is visiting a retail partner versus who is visiting the competitor down the street. This allows Glaeser to seek out the target growth opportunity when buying media.
“It’s definitely different from what I’ve seen elsewhere,” he added. “It’s something that hasn’t generated a lot of questions from customers, but when we talk about it, they say, ‘It’s very interesting. How can we get more of this? »
Near earns money from subscriptions to his platform. The average cost is about $300,000 per customer per year, Mathews said.
But the planned SPAC deal with KludeIn will bring in more money – around $268 million. The combined companies will have a pro forma market capitalization of $1 billion.
The platform has enormous potential and claims to be the largest source of human mobility data in the world. “We have 1.6 billion monthly active user IDs in 44 countries,” Mathews said. “We’ve only scratched the surface of the platform.”
Three areas are reserved for the money of public investors. The first is new products, such as Near Pinnacle, introduced this month at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas.
The company’s newest and most accessible module to date, Near Pinnacle will unlock real value to help businesses of all sizes monitor competition, profile visitors, define trade zones and refine marketing campaigns. . The module will be generally available early in the third quarter in North America, Australia and New Zealand and other parts of the world later this year, according to a statement from Near.
The second area of interest will be the acquisition of new types of data, while the third will concern the acquisition of other companies. Near has already purchased two other businesses in the past 18 months or so. In November 2020, it is the acquisition of Teemo, a geolocation company based in Paris. And in April 2021, it acquired UM, the company formerly known as UberMedia that gave Near its Pasadena headquarters. Former UM chief executive Gladys Kong is now chief operating officer at Near.
At closing, the company is expected to be called Near Intelligence Inc. and its common stock will trade under the symbol NIR.
Narayan Ramachandran, managing director of Berkeley-based KludeIn, said he was delighted to partner with Mathews and the entire Near team as they continue to help businesses better understand consumer behavior. .
“We believe this merger is very compelling based on the diverse global customer base, superior flywheel and network (software as a service) effects of Near’s business,” said Ramachandran, former Morgan Stanley executive. India, in a press release.