JiWire Acquires NearbyNow

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

San Francisco-based JiWire, location-based mobile media company reaching the On-The-Go Audience, has purchased NearbyNow, Mountain View, California.

The acquisition accelerates the expansion of JiWire’s extensive location-based media channel across Wi-Fi and mobile with the addition of industry-leading location technology. The combination of JiWire’s broad location-based audience, which gives advertisers access to over 35 million monthly uniques, and NearbyNow’s sophisticated mobile location technology and expertise in retail and mobile merchandising will create a new set of location-based advertising opportunities for major brands. This complements JiWire’s client roster of leading Fortune 500 brands.

Going well beyond the very simple geo-location ‘check-in’, NearbyNow enables brands to show users current product catalogues, and even whether a product is currently in-stock at a specific nearby store.

To further drive conversions, NearbyNow’s technology allows brands to offer loyal customers a mobile concierge service that confirms product availability at local stores and then places them on-hold for later pick-up. For example, a Seventeen Magazine mobile app user sees an ad for her favorite boots online and instantly checks local inventory. If they are in-stock, the shopper reserves the boots and they are ready at the counter when she arrives.

This platform is believed to be the first to track both online and in-store sales, offering a turnkey solution to attract, measure and advertise to lucrative mobile shoppers. It has seen outstanding ad click-though rates of more than 20% and conversion-to-purchase average rates of 5.8%.

NearbyNow has had great successes working with large retail customers such as Nike, Levi’s, Estee Lauder, Hearst, Macy’s and Nordstrom adding to JiWire’s repertoire of Fortune 500 brands that includes Buick, Hyatt Place, Jeep, Microsoft and Virgin America.

“Brands and retailers are leaving a lot on the table if you are just targeting consumers that are already in stores,” says David Courtney, CEO, JiWire. “To grow your business, you want location-based media that reaches new people and drives new revenue.”

JiWire plans to combine its existing location-based advertising platform that runs across Wi-Fi and mobile for devices such as iPads, smartphones and laptops with NearbyNow’s ad platform to increase ways in which advertisers can reach new local customers at scale and drive in-store conversions. The company is already working on new location-based products that leverage the combined capabilities of both platforms.

“The era of location is upon us,” says Scott Dunlap, founder of NearbyNow and now vice president of mobile business development at JiWire.” It’s not about ‘mobile’ versus ‘display ad,’ it’s about delivering relevant location-based advertising across all media types. The brands that can do this at scale will reap the rewards of the $1 trillion opportunity created by consumers who use online and mobile to influence their offline purchasing.”

With NearbyNow, JiWire gets access to nearly 3 million mobile shoppers using apps from lifestyle brands such as GQ, Brides, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and more.

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