Swirl Will Put Twitter-Backed Funding Toward Building Sales, Marketing
The beacon technology provider locked in $18 million from Twitter, among other investors.
iBeacon marketing platform provider Swirl has secured $18 million in a third round of funding led by a number of investors including, most notably, Twitter Ventures and publishing icon Hearst. This brings the value of the Boston-based company, whose beacon technology has been deployed by retailers such as Lord & Taylor and Urban Outfitters, to $32 million.
A Swirl spokesperson says that the company will aim the new funds largely toward sales and marketing. Swirl will also use the money to focus on product development, addressing feedback received from retailer and brand clients for new features and functionality.
For many hearing the news today, the key takeaway was not so much the amount of money Swirl raked in; but the fact that Twitter had contributed. It’s the first endorsement of beacons by the social media platform, which, via the investment, could greatly enhance its micro-location targeting abilities. With Swirl’s beacon marketing, Twitter could potentially get very up close and personal with retail customers, opening up a new dimension of location-based advertising where commerce and social intersect.
Twitter could not be reached for comment, and Swirl declined to speak on what Twitter could be planning, stating merely that “Twitter was a natural fit [as an investor in Swirl] considering their position as a digital leader and one of the largest mobile app publishers in the world.”
Part of why Twitter may have perceived Swirl as a “natural fit” for its backing, is because Swirl offers an end-to-end beacon marketing software platform, along with an audience network of third party mobile apps, and an ad exchange capability that “allows retailers to gain greater leverage from their beacon networks by allowing brand partners to deliver relevant messages and content to shoppers in their stores,” the spokesperson says.
It’s also prime timing. Retailers experimenting with Swirl’s technology are poised to make some major rollouts soon.
“Many retailers have been running small-scale programs over the past six months aimed at identifying the best use cases for beacon marketing,” says the spokesperson. “Now that many of them have learned what works and what doesn’t, they are planning much larger rollouts.”