Bluedot cofounders Filip Eldic (left) and Emil Davityan (right)
In 2013, Croatian Australian Filip Eldic and his friend from University of Adelaide Emil Davityan wanted to build the world’s first mobile tolling smartphone application, so that when people drove onto the toll, it would automatically pay for their tolls.
GPS systems and Google Maps weren’t precise enough, as Eldic and Davityan needed to understand when someone entered a certain lane of a road while that person’s phone was locked in their pockets. The geolocating had to be with sufficient accuracy and without draining the battery too much, so they could charge these payments in transport.
“The biggest problem we encountered was that there was no location technology on the planet that existed that could power our solution,” Eldic, who made the Under 30 list in 2016, says.
So instead, Eldic and Davityan oriented it toward building a SaaS platform for location, which aimed to deploy in industries like quick service restaurants (QSR), retail and transport.
Earlier this month, the company the two cofounded called Bluedot secured $9.1 million in Series B funding led by Autotech Ventures. Other investors in the round include existing investor Transurban, and new investors Forefront Ventures, IAG Firemark Ventures, and Mighty Capital.
The way Bluedot works is through a software development kit that plugs into smartphone applications. Once the software has been integrated in the smartphone app and the customer has downloaded this app on their mobile phone and given permission to that app to use their location, the company can understand when a customer enters a really accurate area.
This area is simply defined by zooming in on a map and drawing a thin virtual line called geoline. When a user steps across that line Bluedot can trigger any action on the phone such as delivering messages or charging payments.
At the moment, 75% of Bluedot’s customers are in the QSR space, with clients including brands like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Dunkin’ Donuts.
The way Dunkin Donuts uses Bluedot’s technology is through powering the so-called “frictionless drive-through”. Instead of customers placing an order, driving up to the drive through and waiting in a line of cars, Bluedot’s technology allows them to minimize the lines by identifying the moment the customer has driven up to the speaker, and when they get to the window the order is ready for a contactless pickup.
According to Eldic, the company has seen 2,500% increase and adoption in the number of users that it services and the bulk of that has come since the coronavirus pandemic started.
“We see our technology as a strategic response to some of the restrictions that these businesses face in the Covid-19 world,” Eldic, who currently serves as the company’s executive director, says.
Bluedot’s other clients include the chain of gas stations On The Run, electric charging stations network Volta Charging, and Australian toll-road operator Transurban.
The company, which started in Melbourne and in 2015 opened offices in San Francisco, currently has 30 full-time employees, and its previous equity financing round was a $5.5 million Series A in 2018.
This article was written by Igor Bosilkovski and posted on Forbes Magazine
Jul 25, 2020,07:30am EDT