Whether you like it or not, your smartphone is keeping tabs on you. And Sense360 wants to give developers a sneak peek at your data diary.
The Culver City startup has announced it raised $2.75 million to further develop its sensor technology platform and hire more employees. The company, which launched in October, uses data from a mobile device’s sensors to help app developers not only figure out how users are interacting with their apps but to personalize them based on their habits.
“We’re taking phones wherever we go and we use them as we interact with the world,” said Chief Executive Eli Portnoy. “There’s a lot of opportunity to build new experiences for consumers.”
Portnoy, who previously ran mobile ad startup ThinkNear before its $22.5 million exit to Telenav, said smartphones currently have 14 sensors that can provide an almost infinite number of data points – how long a smartphone’s owner spends making calendar appointments, or what time of day a phone is most frequently used. That represents a data goldmine for app makers, helping them improve their products and keep their users actively engaged.
For instance, Sense360 could use sensor data to discover that a music app is mostly used by people moving quickly on foot – that is, running. That could prompt the app developer to build in fitness features geared specifically toward runners.
Sense360’s platform has yet to officially launch – no word on when. It’s currently being tested by a select number of beta partners, whose names are also being kept hush-hush. Portnoy also declined to share the startup’s business model and whether the product would be available via subscription or licensing.
The round was led by FirstMark Capital with participation from FounderCollective, Qualcomm Ventures, Telenav, DoubleMCapital, Metamorphic Ventures and Avenue A. Investors also included Sense360 co-founder John Hinnegan, BoxGroup Managing Director David Tisch, former SeamlessWeb chief Jason Finger and ReachLocal founder Michael Kline.
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