Location-based startups that allow advertisers to personalize their offers and provide other customized services are quickly becoming a highly lucrative space.
Google recently bought Waze, the geography-based navigation application, for approximately $1 billion and Foursquare is exploring an IPO. Panelists Matt Turck, managing director of First Mark Capital, and Ben Siscovick, a former partner of IA Ventures, discussed their views on the growth of location-based services with moderator Jason Klein, CEO of On Grid Ventures, yesterday at the Street Fight Summit. Read on for highlights of the panel discussion.
JASON KLEIN: What are some of the most attractive investment opportunities out there?
MATT TURCK: I’m closely following the B2B space, specifically for local. If you look at the history, a lot of successful investments and exits have been made and a lot has been done on the demand aggregation side in terms of extracting information and giving it to advertisers so they can make money. I think there are a lot of opportunities on the supply side that hasn’t been explored.
There is also the fact that software is now so easy to build and customize that you can provide software for SMBs at a low cost. I’m interested in the automation of the SMB space, things that large companies can already do and how that is trickling down to SMBs.
Another area is the convergence of physical and digital. One of the interesting things is Apple using iBeacon. It’s this concept of using Bluetooth low energy, which is by default in everybody’s iPhone as long as you have iOS7. Using that technology, Apple enables retail stores to deploy small bits of hardware that can broadcast data to enable in-store, real-time interactions and the personalization of offers, which is interesting.