BOSTON, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Swirl Networks, Inc., provider of the leading proximity-based indoor mobile marketing platform, announced today that it has raised $18 million in equity financing from Hearst Ventures, SoftBank Capital, Twitter Ventures and other strategic investors. Venture capital firm Longworth Venture Partners also participated in the round. The Series C round brings Swirl's total funding to date to $32 million. The new capital will be used to expand Swirl's sales and marketing operations and to fuel aggressive investment in product innovation to meet accelerating demand from major retailers and brand advertisers for beacon-powered indoor mobile advertising. Leading companies including Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay, Urban Outfitters, Marriott, Alex and Ani, and Timberland use the Swirl platform.
According to BI Intelligence, beacons will be deployed by 85 percent of the top 100 U.S. retailers by the end of 2016 and beacon marketing will influence $44B in retail sales. By leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy and Apple's iBeacon™ technologies, the Swirl platform helps retailers and brands deliver highly relevant digital content and offers to consumers' smartphones while they shop in specific areas of a store. A recent consumer study by Swirl found that 73 percent of shoppers who received beacon-triggered content were more likely to make a purchase during their store visit. Swirl in-store mobile marketing campaigns are already generating strong results, with 60 percent of shoppers opening and engaging with beacon-triggered content and 30 percent redeeming relevant offers at the point of purchase.
"SoftBank's investments in some of the world's leading digital and mobile companies give us unique insight into the massive opportunity that is being created by beacon technology," said Ron Fisher, Managing Partner of SoftBank Capital and a director of SoftBank Corp. "With the most sophisticated platform, strong retailer adoption and clear strategic vision, Swirl is uniquely positioned to lead this rapidly emerging market. We are excited to continue to back the Swirl team as they bring this powerful new capability to the world's top retailers and brands."
"The caliber of strategic investors and partners in this round validates the immense potential that proximity-based indoor mobile marketing has to transform the advertising and retail landscapes," said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of Swirl. "Swirl is helping leading retailers, publishers and brand advertisers bridge the physical and digital worlds in a way that was never before possible. This new investment gives us unmatched resources to accelerate our efforts and extend our leadership position in this exciting space."
About Swirl Networks
Swirl offers leading retailers, brand advertisers and publishers the industry's most advanced platform for proximity-based indoor mobile marketing. By leveraging the power of Bluetooth® Smart beacons and the Swirl platform, retailers are able to influence in-store shoppers at the precise time and place they are making purchase decisions. Swirl Ad Exchange is the world's first programmatic private ad exchange for beacon-powered mobile advertising, allowing brands to deliver highly targeted content to shoppers wherever their products are sold. The Swirl platform is used by leading companies such as Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay, Urban Outfitters, Marriott, Alex and Ani, Timberland and many more. Swirl is backed by top-tier investors including Twitter Ventures, Hearst Ventures, SoftBank Capital and Longworth Venture Partners. Learn more at swirl.com.
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