This week was a big week for Footmarks. After many months of fundraising, we’re thrilled to announce we closed our seed round at just over $1.85 million, with funds coming from several strategic investors.
To mark this significant milestone, we sat down with Footmarks’ President, Todd Paris, to ask about Footmarks’ recent industry moves, new company hires, and what the team plans to do with the new investment.
Footmarks Blog: The market for location analytics has evolved in recent months: Apple’s iOS8 put the kibosh on WiFi tracking, Apple Pay has given new life to NFC, and a few well-publicized beacon deployments have helped educate the public, mobile agencies, and a wide-range of industry verticals as to the potential of BLE technology. What do you think the market is looking for currently?
Todd: I look at the market from two perspectives – enterprise and consumer. For consumers we talk about strong security and improved value across their experience sets and the paths to purchase. Enterprises, specifically, are looking to unlock the value of their physical stores and locations, where the majority of purchases still happen today. Enterprises know that beacon technology can turn transactions into experiences and create lifetime customers. I believe that underlying all this there is an added element – almost an oxymoron. Enterprises are looking to use this “new” space created between a beacon and customer to add value to their “existing” assets, including physical stores, content and data stores.
FB: So, why Footmarks?
Todd: Footmarks is all about the service layer. We’re security and scale, first and foremost. Data and intelligence, a second first. And creativity and respect, a third first. We see ourselves as stewards of the solution, to help ensure folks use the technology in a respectful and value-added way.
FB: And what’s the strategy for Footmarks going forward?
Todd: It’s really a partner-led strategy and philosophy.
Our job is to enable our partners across the board – direct and indirect. Today we are hyper-focused on ensuring our media, e-commerce and SI partners are ready to make a respectful difference with our underlying solution.
Our approach does a few things – it increases our reach, proliferated our cross-platform SDKs, and showcases our service-orientated approach. It’s about bringing our leading-edge experiences and data to our partners’ customers.
And, that leads me to a key point for Footmarks. We’re not hardware-led, we’re services-led. That means our focus is ensuring a complete end-to-end experience that is intuitive to use and easy to integrate with. Being integrated with our partners’ platforms, Footmarks has a unique industry-leading set of best practices across the board. Perhaps this goes without saying, but this best-of-breed solution set goes a long way to light up the value for owners of physical spaces including work places, venues and retail.
FB: Can you tell us how Footmarks’ strategy is currently playing out?
Todd: It’s been great. We have growing partnerships and direct relationships here in the North America, as well as in Asia. We’re really excited about the early traction from across Asia Pacific, including China and SEA. We’ll have some interesting announcements coming soon!
FB: Talk about closing your seed round.
Todd: We closed our round at $1.85M just this past week, so we’re excited.
Our new investors come with a ton of experience, including successful entrepreneurs from the SaaS space, media agencies and buyers, and more. Their insights will go a long way to help position us for the expected market growth. And the total raised, meanwhile, works to accelerate our partner plans across a few verticals. In fact, our lead investor, Shawn Englund, was the Founder and CEO of one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies 5 years in row before selling it to Thomson Reuters. We’re excited to have him as part of the leadership team.
Our biggest priority continues to be iterating on our platform, with help from the amazing tech talent we’ve hired. Being located on the West Coast, and in Seattle in particular, with Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, and Starbucks, really helps with access to such great technical skills locally.
As President, my focus is now on managing our cost-side of the equation, and driving execution toward our roadmap. Our clients are pushing us, so it’s time to keep accelerating towards each planned release deployment.
FB: How has the Footmarks team grown?
Todd: In recent months, we’ve more than doubled our development team, which is our biggest lever for success. In fact we’re still busy hiring still folks with a passion for the Internet of Things. Our current open roles include Quality Assurance, Data Mining, and Mobile SDK development. Check out our website for details!
FB: Awesome. How should owners of physical spaces get in touch with Footmarks?
Get ready for big announcements from Footmarks and from our partners as we head into Q4 2014!