Factual Inc. announced on Tuesday that it signed a deal to sell its location data to Snap Inc. for use in Snapchat.
Gil Elbaz, chief executive of Century City-based Factual, declined to disclose the value of the deal, but said Snap purchased the data as part of a subscription agreement representing one of the largest deals the company had ever signed.
The data could be used with Snapchat’s location-based features, such as geofilters, though Elbaz said he was unsure of Snap’s intended applications.
“What’s so interesting to me from location data there are so many use cases that can be stitched together,” Elbaz said.
Factual collects and sells data about more than 100 million businesses and points of interest in 52 countries. Its database includes business names, store operation, telephone numbers and website addresses. The firm’s customers include Facebook Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., and Microsoft Corp.
The deal with Factual comes one week after Snap acquired Placed Inc. for a reported $200 million, its biggest purchase to date. Placed is a Seattle-based startup that measures the success of online advertisements in driving customers to buy merchandise in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
The purchase was another sign of the tech giant’s attempts to increase advertising revenue by enhancing its ability to target specific consumers and measure ad performance by tracking users’ on-the-ground behavior – services that would allow the company to charge advertisers more.
Location data is more and more important to app developers and digital advertises as they try to learn more about the daily habits of their users and customers, Elbaz said.
“Location data is a critical signal that helps publishers of apps understand their own users, understand the consumer journey,” he said, noting that business-to-business firms are interested as well. “Increasingly, enterprise companies also view location as this critical signal.”
Most companies pay for Factual’s data through a subscription plan, downloading updated information on a monthly basis, Elbaz said. Data sources include third-party resources such as GoDaddy and MomentFeed, as well as companies themselves.
“It becomes important for brands to be listed correctly in our database,” Elbaz said.
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