Ten years into the smartphone era, and it’s still difficult to build mobile products and services with location. While existing platforms exist for similar problems — think Mixpanel for analytics, Stripe for payments and Twilio for communications — there isn’t a tool that makes it easy to add location tracking or context to any app. Until now.
Radar, a location platform for mobile apps, launched out of Expa Labs today. The company was founded by former Foursquare employees Nick Patrick and Coby Berman, whose collective mission is to help companies collect, analyze and act on location data.
“The number of users times apps times devices is still growing, but so few products and services take advantage of location data in a meaningful way,” said Patrick. “What we’re focused on here is helping people build really great products and services with location and we tried to build a product that will help folks do that, that will span all of those use cases and will solve the challenges users face when it comes to location.”
Patrick experienced the difficulty of building reliable and accurate location tracking technology firsthand while he worked as the Director of Product at Handy, an on-demand household service.
“We wanted to track where our cleaners were, send customers push notifications when their cleaners were on the way, and we went down this rabbit hole of trying to build location tracking that was reliable, accurate, worked well across iOS and Android,” said Patrick. “We also needed to figure out how to store all of that data and analyze it, build dashboards to visualize it and set up geofences for our service zones. There were a lot of moving parts.”
Radar’s tools integrate into the back-end of any app that needs location service. All customers have to do is install Radar’s SDK, which allows them to instantly set up geofences, tracking entry and exit events.
According to Patrick, this ultimately helps customers across three verticals — increasing engagement, increasing revenue and improving operations.
Prior to launching, Radar’s customers already include a number of New York-based tech companies, including gift card marketplace Raise, food recommendation app Wine n’ Dine and ride-sharing app Via.
The Radar team has spent the past six months building and testing its product and now plans to continue to grow its team post-launch. With a working product and interesting technical problem at hand, Radar’s founders are optimistic to tap into the location data market.
“We think that someday in the near future almost every app will be location aware, almost every product or service will have some degree of location awareness and intelligence, and we think we’ll be the platform that unlocks that,” said Patrick.
Images via Radar.