Solomo Technology Inc., which provides mobile technology tools to retailers and other businesses, has raised $1.7 million of venture capital funding.
The Madison company operates in the emerging software category of indoor location services and has generated revenue since it formed in 2011, said Liz Eversoll, Solomo's founder and chief executive officer. Customers include large convenience store chains, airlines and major malls in the U.S. and Canada, she said.
There are many competitors in this space, "however we're the only ones that let the business connect directly to the user's device based on who they are and where they're at," Eversoll said.
The funding brings to $2.2 million the total amount Solomo has raised. The company, which has 24 employees, will use the funding to accelerate product development and increase sales and marketing activities.
Solomo is very well-positioned to benefit from the increasing tension between people who want to take back their privacy and ownership of personal data and groups like Facebook and Google that are taking it, said Terry Kelly, whose Venture Management LLC co-led the funding round.
"The ability to form a more trusted relationship with only those contacts you want to give access to you and your personal information is the adult way to do it," said Kelly, who headed Madison-based Weather Central Inc. until it was acquired in 2012 by a subsidiary of the Weather Channel.
Don Layden also co-led the round. Former general counsel at Metavante Technologies Inc., Layden is a partner at Quarles & Brady law firm and an operating partner for Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners. Wisconsin Investment Partners participated in the funding.
Solomo -- a term that is also used to describe the collision of social features, local business promotions (like coupons) and mobile applications -- was founded in 2011 by Eversoll, a 20-year veteran of the information technology industry. She has assembled an executive team and board with high-level people from Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco Systems, and has forged meaningful partnerships, Kelly said.
Customers pay a monthly fee to use the company's patent-pending Solomo Exchange web services platform, which retailers use for offering products, promotions and other services to customers using WiFi in exchange for their personal data. For example, they might deliver a coupon to a customer based on which aisle they are shopping in, or collect data about traffic patterns and hot or cold sales spots in the store.
Solomo also has developed a personal safety app through a collaboration with Chicago-based Clandestine Development LLC that uses WiFi and GPS technologies to tell 911 operators and emergency dispatchers exactly where in a building a distress call is coming from.
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