Q&A with Gregg Smith, CEO at Acuity Mobile

Map maker Navteq today announced it has made an equity investment in Acuity Mobile, Inc., which specializes in mobile location-based advertising delivery. GPS Business News spoke with Gregg Smith, CEO at Acuity Mobile to learn more about his company.

Gregg Smith
Gregg Smith
GPS Business News: How did you start Acuity?
Gregg Smith: Acuity was founded in March 2006, but our Chief Technical Officer and founder, Chuck Rieger, began to work on our technology as early as 2000 and he was granted multiple patents in this area since 2003. We are a privately-held technology company headquartered in Greenbelt, Maryland. Our solution EMAP – that stands for Embedded Mobile Advertising Platform - enables the delivery of targeted content such as advertisements, coupons, offers, news, etc. directly to any mobile device based on the end-user's interests and location. Our Platform works with various content formats; it can be SMS, WAP or thin client downloadable applications.

GPS BN: What kind of customers do you have?
GS: Generally our customers are brands that have large loyalty groups or affinity programs and they want to target their customers in a one to one relationship with particular content. For example it can be a resort that has a gambler club, or it can be movie theaters that want to attract customers that are walking by.

GPS BN: I have read you also have Traffic.com - a subsidiary of Navteq - as a client; what are you doing with them?
GS: We are providing our platform into their service offering to provide geo-targeted marketing content delivery.

GPS BN: How have you been funded until today?
GS: We did a friend and family round of funding in January 2007 and today we are announcing this Navteq investment.

GPS BN: And how much is that?
GS: Navteq is definitely the lead investor, their investment is very significant, but they are other minor investors too. Unfortunately I cannot go into more details publicly.

GPS BN: What is your target in terms of profitability?
GS: We are focusing on the third quarter of 2009 for profitability.

GPS BN: How many employees do you have in the company today?
GS: We are less than 20 people.

GPS BN: Advertising-funded location-based services are becoming a hot topic these days; at what stage are we today?
GS: This is just the beginning of this market. I really think mobile operators want to monetize the location-based application market. From the advertising side there is a lot of interest; advertisers see this is the right way to create a one to one relationship with their customers. This precision is what we call Spot Relevance: the ability to deliver the right marketing content, to the right person, at the right time, in the right location. We feel the value added of mobile marketing is just about that.

Tuesday, February 5th 2008

Nav & Telematics | Sport and Outdoor | Location Based Services | Tech & Innovation | Market Data | Finance & Legal | People and Jobs | Voices of the industry | Press Releases