Near acquires Teemo to expand its data business into Europe

Anthony Ha
·2-min read
Location line icon, map outline vector logo illustration, linear pictogram isolated on black
Location line icon, map outline vector logo illustration, linear pictogram isolated on black

Two companies in the data business are teaming up, with Near announcing that it has acquired French startup Teemo.

Near founder and CEO Anil Mathews told me that his company processes data around the online and offline behavior of 1.6 billion consumers each month: "We marry these two worlds and fill in the gap."

Teemo, meanwhile, is location intelligence company based in Paris. Mathews said that Singapore-headquartered Near has been expanding "east to west," so by acquiring Teemo, it will have a beachhead to expand throughout Europe — for example by getting direct access to the numerous big brands headquartered in Paris.

And while Mathews described Near as a company that has "from day one put privacy in the front seat," he also suggested that Teemo has unique advantages in this area, particularly when it comes to Europe's General Data Protection Regulation.

"Teemo is very pro-privacy," he said. "They were the first company certified by the French Data Protection Officer as GDPR compliant." (That certification came after it was one of the first companies to be admonished under GDPR.)

Teemo's founder and CEO Benoit Grouchko will become Near's chief privacy officer, and the rest of the Teemo workforce will be joining Near as well, Mathews said. Another big asset: This will give Near access to Teemo's GDPR-compliant consumer data (which he said will be stored in European data centers and continue to be handled in fully GDPR-compliant ways).

Near could potentially expand into other markets by making similar acquisitions in the future, Mathews added.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Formerly known as Databerries, Teemo has raised a total of $17.9 million in funding from investors such as Index Ventures and Mosaic Ventures.

"We are very excited to join the Near family with whom we share a common DNA of technology and performance,” Grouchko said in a statement. “This will allow us to be stronger and to grow even faster, beyond the French market.”