10 Startups to Watch: Glympse

Taking Location-Based Services a Step Further, Startup Incorporates the Use of a Real-Time Map, Time-Limit Component

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Check-in apps such as Foursquare made location exhibitionism all the rage, but -- like all good things -- someone wants to take it further, and that 's where Glympse comes in. Glympse allows users to show their location and update their geo-status on a real-time dynamic map. The visibility of the user's location can be set to a time limit, expiring after a designated period. The time limit and the friends-only settings are there, presumably to keep unwanted stalkers at bay. But how can brands use this technology?

Bryan Trussel
Bryan Trussel

Glympse GEO Bryan Trussel sees Glympse as an obvious next step for marketers who want to move from one-way communication to having real-time physical interactions with consumers. After all, a retailer with a brick-and-mortar store or one that sells products like cars or houses will want the consumer physically present during at least a portion of the sale. "We're bridging the gap between the digital and the physical world," Mr. Trussel said. "If the brand has an event or an activity, it's a great way to have location interaction, and this can be applied to celebrities, road shows, events or concerts." Investors seem to agree -- Glympse raised $7.5 million Series B funding this summer.

Mr. Trussel said Glympse has been approached by "many global brand-name companies -- everything from mobile operators to car manufacturers to event organizers." Glympse is expected to announce a partnership with an automaker at Ad Age 's Digital West conference. "For the first time in history, people can share their location with other people in real time," Mr. Trussel said. "We saw an opportunity to make it very simple and clear and fun for consumers."

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