Databerries raises $16 million to help brick-and-mortar retailers target smartphone users with ads


Databerries, a mobile advertising platform aimed at offline merchants, has announced a $16 million round of funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from ISAI, Mosaic Ventures, and a handful of angel investors.

Founded out of Paris, France, in 2014, Databerries allows brick-and-mortar retailers to target consumers with mobile ads based on places they’ve previously visited, in what it calls “Real Life Targeting.” So, a retailer can target shoppers who have previously visited the store, and try to entice them back, while it can also target those who have been to a competitor’s outlet.

The platform launched back in December 2015, and Databerries says that it now works with more than 100 retailers, including Toys R Us and McDonald’s.

With Real Life Targeting, marketers can see exactly how many people visited a retail location after viewing a specific mobile ad, thus making online ad-spending easier to measure in terms of efficacy. Marketers can also optimize their campaign in real-time “to maximize performance,” according to the company.

Prior to now, Databerries had raised a small $1.8 million seed round, and with its fresh cash injection it plans to launch its product in the U.S.

“The U.S. is the largest advertising market in the world and we are bringing a solution that has been proven to work, and is unlike anything else available,” explained François Wyss, COO and cofounder of Databerries, who’s now based in New York as the company pushes out across the county.

Though ecommerce has undoubtedly dented the coffers of offline retailers, the fact remains that many people still prefer to shop in physical stores — just ask Amazon, which is continuing to open real-world outlets across the U.S. But we’re also seeing technology playing an increasingly prominent part in the offline shopping experience as retailers strive to improve their marketing and figure out how to get people coming back.

Companies such as RetailNext have raised big bucks to transform stores into giant data pits, using sources such as Wi-Fi, video cameras, point-of-sale (POS) systems, geo-fencing, beacons, and even the weather to figure out how many customers visit a store, what they do, and how to generate money from them. Other companies working toward a similar goal include Peter Thiel-backed Zenreach.

But Databerries is perhaps less about in-store analytics than it is about serving the actual ads that bring people back to a location that they’ve previously visited.

“Retailers spend more than $100 billion every year in offline marketing without being able to accurately measure its efficiency,” added Databerries CEO Benoit Grouchko. “However, thanks to mobile devices, there is now a bridge between online and offline. Databerries offers retailers a traffic acquisition solution that works for offline marketing, but also leverages the online advertising standards the industry has become used to: accurate targeting, personalization, performance measurement and return on investment optimization.”

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