Denver’s Mobile Accord Raises $6.6M to Take Pulse of Developing World
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agency that is affiliated with the United Nations. The WFP has used GeoPoll to monitor the progress of its nutrition program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it polled 140,000 people in a single day.
Mobile Accord has developed a methodologically sound process to collect its data to give clients relevant and reliable information from representative samples. It can survey people anywhere with the exception of North Korea, Gutterman said.
GeoPoll will be available in 42 markets by the middle of next year. NGOs and governmental agencies in those markets distribute about $45 billion in aid and spend about $4.5 billion to monitor their programs, according to Gutterman.
Getting a small amount of that could be a big deal for Mobile Accord, but the really big money could come from market research firms and businesses that are trying to sell products in rapidly developing parts of the world. By the end of 2014, GeoPoll will have about 500 million people in its network that it can survey, Gutterman said.
Mobile Accord has not disclosed who invested in either of its rounds, but Gutterman said it has not raised money from traditional venture capital firms. Instead it has relied on a small number of high-net-worth individuals in Colorado and the New York City-area to raise funds.
They’re still expecting a high return on their investment, though, and Mobile Accord thinks it can deliver.
“There is a real opportunity for meaningful revenue here,” Gutterman said. The market for NGOs alone “is a $5 billion-plus addressable market, we have no direct competitors, and it’s a highly fragmented and inefficient market. So it doesn’t take many percentage points of market share to get to a pretty interesting company.”
Mobile Accord’s leaders have shown they can make money from mobile phones. Eberhard’s prior company was 9 Squared, which sold ringtones and other content for mobile phones before the dawning of the smartphone era. He sold 9 Squared to a British company in 2004 for a reported $40 million.