Lost and found tracker Tile gains $13M and plans Android support

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Tile, one of many companies offering bluetooth tracking tags to stick on your stuff, is disclosing how much funding it has raised as it plans to expand both to the Android platform and to international markets. CEO Nick Evans, explained on a call that the almost two-year-old company has now shipped more than 300,000 Tiles, and is ready to rapidly grow.

Tiles are 37mm by 37mm tags, containing a bluetooth radio, that a consumer can stick on a purse, a bike, a dog collar or their keys. The consumer downloads an app onto their iPhone and then they can see where their Tile is and make it beep to help them locate the item. If something is out of their phone’s range and lost, they can mark it as lost and then anyone with the tile app on their handset turns into a search party looking for the item. If someone’s phone discovers the lost item, it sends location information to the original owner.

As you can see the success of Tiles depend heavily on network effects– the more people who have the app installed the faster you can locate a missing object — but it’s an intriguing way to think about adding location to objects. In a podcast last summer, [company]Tile[/company] COO Mike Farley and I discussed how something like this could become a poor man’s GPS if enough people installed it.

To get people installing the device, Evans plans to expand the platform from iOS to Android starting with the [company]Samsung[/company] Galaxy 5 which has the right bluetooth capabilities. He also wants to expand internationally which is also why the Android push was essential. Right now Tile can be found in 30 countries and the highest concentrations are in New York City and San Francisco, said Evans.

The company has raised a total of $13 million in outside funding with a $3.5 million seed round in October of last year from [company]Tencent[/company] and a $9.5 million Series A round led by [company]GGV Capital[/company] raised two months ago to support its growth plans. It also raised $2.68 million via a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Updated: This story was corrected at 11:50 a.m. to change the amount Tile raised during a Kickstarter campaign. It raised $2.68 million not $2.4 million.

5 Comments

Denise

I preordered 4 tiles in the summer of 2013. Finally got them sept 2014. No longer suites my needs & too thick to put inside cell case. Shipped back certified mail for a refund and cannot get customer service to respond. Think they have ripped me off. BUYER BEWARE

dnnielsen

What do a product like Tile need $13m in funding for after a crazy amount of pre-orders? There must be some new stuff in the pipeline we don’t know about yet?

David Ahn, MD

Tile did not launch via kickstarter. They used the self starter platform, I believe.

slfisher

The civil liberties aspect of this is pretty chilling, though.

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