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AI Data Startup Lands $2m Seed Funding

SpatialToday’s Geek word is “Ethnographic”. Basically, it’s the presentation of data as it applies to society or groups. Lynden Foust, Spatial’s CEO and a team of about 10 engineers are building a social layering platform that uses AI to cull about 30 different social media sources for location based data.  A simple line of code added to a map is all that’s needed to beef up search results with a myriad of neighborhood social content.

Making Data Sexy

Spatial’s concept provides RE pros with a new mechanism to deliver social lifestyle content. Maps can now display results in way that goes beyond the basic so called “points of interest”. In this case you’ll see or read whether or not something really does hold interest and why.

Accelerator Success Story

Spatial was one of 12 startups that participated in last year’s Techstar mobility accelerator program.. The company is targeting real estate and automotive verticals and last year announced a development deal with Ford that resulted in the company relocating from  Cincinnati to Detroit. As an adjunct professor of design ethnography at Miami University in OH, Foust came on the realization that

people would tell me social media more than they’d tell me about the cities they were living in. There was so much information on social media, but no one could make sense of it.

Spatial is integrating with Ford to integrate in a way that will allow content from it’s 30 social sources based on GPS to provide search results. Griffin Morris, Spatial’s “Head of Growth” is handling the real estate vertical and tells me that the recent funding will be used to acquire more engineering talent. Morris said:

The program (Techstars) helped us refine our vision to help people understand neighborhoods like a local and connect us with valuable resources. The top tier mentorship we received in the Detroit program lead us to closing our seed round of $2M. Techstars continues to open doors and we are very active in the network.

Hyperlocal on Auto Pilot (Sort Of)

Now you can do a search that will do more than show you where all the restaurants are in the neighborhood you’re looking for a new home in. Now you’ll get to see a full feed of the (IMHO) annoying pictures people are always taking of their meals and read tweets about how it tasted. You might even find the farmers market right around the corner of that little bungalow you’re dying to buy to get the ingredients to make it yourself. I just wonder though if the transparency of the content and the potential for negative content might pose unintended consequences. Thoughts?

Obviously you can’t automate a complete hyperlocal content marketing strategy, however, I find it intriguing that big data has reached the point where some meaningful integration is possible. If you’re in a market currently supported by Spatial, or you’re an IDX provider interested testing the waters, I would love to see how it works out.

About Michael Price

Mike has been involved with RE Tech and marketing since 1995. He is the Managing Editor, handles biz-dev for GEB and is a Steely Dan fan. LinkedIn Profile

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