NFC gadget and marketing platform provider Poken has announced a US$2M investment round led by Swisscom Ventures and Credit Suisse.
The company provides a platform that organisations can use to enable customers to connect online with people they meet in the real world, receive and share offers and rewards, and collect information from tags and smart posters via either an NFC phone or a low cost NFC-enabled Poken device.
The company, which picked up the Best Innovation in Mobile Advertising award at this year’s World Mobile Congress, is using the new funding round to relocate its headquarters from Switzerland to Palo Alto in California, to significantly expand its US sales operations and to bring in a new CEO. Founder Stéphane Doutriaux is to stay with the company as chief product officer, heading up Poken’s product and engineering innovation centers.
The new CEO is Sri Chilukuri, previously co-founder of Skype-acquired Content Circles and an experienced Silicon Valley executive who has worked at Adobe, Xerox and a number of start ups.
“The successful fundraising and recent customer growth is a vote of support for Poken’s approach that is revolutionizing social networking and lead generation at events and trade shows” says Chilukuri. “By combining the physical and online worlds in a seamless fashion, Poken will become a must-have solution for every marketer in the near future, akin to what CRM is for every salesperson today.”
“Over the past four years, we have proven our NFC+ technology, and introduced ‘touch’ marketing solutions to corporate events and trade shows,” adds Doutriaux. “We’ve successfully showcased our solutions at events hosted by hundreds of corporate customers such as PwC, Nokia, BMW, ABB, Adobe, and the International Olympic Committee. In addition, we’ve teamed up with large partners such as Standard Register Healthcare to deliver our solutions to key vertical markets.”