Chicago-based Iris Mobile provides a CRM platform that helps retail industry clients identify and personalize messaging to their customers across devices.
The system works partly by taking a phone number from a customer record, and then pinging the phone associated with that number to establish a device link. Iris then tries to deliver offers most likely to maximize lifetime value for that person.
This week the company hired Marc Grabowski as CEO. Grabowski was the COO at Nanigans and ran North America media sales at Yahoo, so he knows a thing or two about both SaaS and media sales models. He plans to bring that business knowledge to the project of ramping up the Iris platform in the marketing industry.
Iris employs less than 50 people and has an undisclosed number of customers. It has raised $3 million to date from a group of Chicago-based angels and VC firms, including Origin Ventures.
Grabowski spoke with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: What problem does Iris solve?
MARC GRABOWSKI: Advertisers are going through the same path of acquiring data on mobile as they've done on desktop. The difference is all the experiences on desktop live within a single browser, so it's much easier to aggregate information on a user basis attached to a cookie. On mobile the experience is disparate. It's app, it's browser, it's messaging. Cookie-based targeting doesn't have the same impact. To aggregate all that experience together and have a single unique identifier, you have to go beyond the cookie. You have to go beyond the device identifier. You have to go to look at the only identifier that's really pure in mobile, and that's the cell phone number.