Munich-based “analytics platform for the physical world with a focus on privacy” Ariadne Maps has raised €2 million in a seed funding round. The company focuses on areas with heavy foot traffic and helps organisations understand people flow, in real-time, culminating in the optimisation of assets and providing an optimal visitor experience. The funding is expected to help the company further develop and expand its offering.
A rather apt name, Ariadne, who according to Greek mythology is most often associated with mazes and/or labyrinths, Ariadne Maps is taking the challenge of people mapping, all in a privacy-focused manner, as one would expect from the home of datenschutz. The status quo involves questionably accurate, expensive, and non-privacy compliant methods including cameras, beacons, or a crowd favourite: a wifi connection and an app download from visitors.
Founded in 2019, with the reemergence of the opening of public spaces, Ariadne Maps is perfectly positioned to help retailers and operators of said spaces, well, to be quite honest, a second chance at getting things “right”.
Working on precise location technologies at the Technische Universität München, co-foundners Georgios Pipelidis (CEO) and Nikos Tsiamitros (CTO), Ariadne Maps is a logical and commercial extension of their research. The duo has produced a technology that’s outperformed even the best offered up by IBM, Cisco, and Google.
At the core of Ariadne’s tech, devices installed in the designated space are using user signals emitted by smartphones (GSM, LTE, wifi, or Bluetooth) and run through proprietary AI algorithms to enable GDPR-compliant tracking. The firm runs these acquired signals through several layers of data anonymisation thus ensuring zero personal data is received.
Ariadne’s output results in traffic data and trends including the number of unique visitors per day, duration of average visit, hourly occupancy, heatmaps, animated trajectories of unique visitors, and unique visitor information across multiple visits. This then results in companies having the ability to analyse visitor flow and detect patterns that can then increase revenues.
“Ariadne emerged with the mission to provide an equal advantage to physical businesses with the one digital businesses already have. When you own a digital business, you can benchmark its quality in real-time e.g. the conversion of a website page or a thumbnail in a YouTube video,” explains Pipelidis. “Unfortunately, when you own a physical business, there are no available methods to obtain similar analytics regarding your shopping window, store location, product placement, employee scheduling, etc. This is the gap that Ariadne fills.”