Russia: Yandex has acquired KitLocate, an Israeli start-up specialized in low power geofencing and motion sensing. The company was founded in 2011 and had 9 employees (including the three co-founders), it raised $750,000 of seed money in 2011.
KitLocate’s technology is based on statistical analysis of smartphone sensors (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, accelerometer, etc.) and allows location-based apps to less frequently request the device’s geographic coordinates via GPS or GLONASS – a battery-consuming process. The company has developed iOS and Android SDKs based on this technology.
Among the customers of KitLocate is Pango, a provider of on-street parking meter service to municipalities. The Pango app Uses KitLocate’s SDK (motion detection and geo-fencing algorithm) which senses that the app owner has driven away from its paid parking place and initiates an event notifying Pango that the space has been vacated. Pango checks if the user stopped the parking meter and if not a server push notification to the mobile device is sent suggesting the driver stops the meter.
In its current model KitLocate licenses its technology as a monthly subscription to app developers. For example it costs $499 per month to deploy their SDK to half a million app users including the use of one million location-based push notifications per month.
Yandex said it will “distribute the technology on the international market and also use KitLocate to improve its own services, including in the personalization of mobile search and targeted advertising.“