Tile’s Bluetooth tracking device has gained significant traction, garnering the company $13M in funding. They plan to branch out internationally and support Android devices
There may be quite a few Bluetooth tracking tags out there offering to help you find all of your “losable” items, but few do it as sleekly as Tile. The company recently announced that they have secured a total of $13M in funding to further their international expansion.
Tile, which is based out of San Mateo, California, aims to create what it calls “the world’s largest lost and found.” The devices, which are 37mm by 37mm tags, contain a bluetooth radio. Once paired with an app that consumers can download onto their iPhone, the tags can be attached to any object such as keys, a wallet, purse, or even a bike. If the object is lost or stolen, users can see where their Tile is and make it beep in order to be located.
What is particularly unique about Tile is that if a tagged item gets beyond the user’s phone range, they can mark it as “lost” – then anyone with the Tile app can theoretically look for the lost object. If someone’s phone discovers it, the lost phone then sends location information to the original owner.
“We’re basically ridding the world of lost items and doing that by selling a low-cost solution,” Tile cofounder and chief executive Nick Evans ambitiously told VentureBeat.
The $13M mark comes on the heels of a $9.5 Series A funding round they recently secured from GGV Capital, who previously backed successes such as Square, Pandora, Alibaba, and SoundCloud. Prior to this last round of funding, the company raised $2.4 million through their Kickstarter campaign, and then an additional $3.5 million last year in seed funding from Tencent, a Chinese investment holding company.
Android joins the party
New advances in success for Tile could come from Android connectivity. The devices could only work with iPhones because Androids did not operate with compatible Bluetooth. But with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy 5, which operates on compatible Bluetooth low-energy, this obstacle can be overcome.
“We’re dedicated to building a product that works every time you need it. Part of that is making sure that the secondary device works exactly as expected with Tile,” said Evans. “It’s really tempting to say, ‘Ok, Android is all the same, so let’s do all the devices at once,’” he added.
But because Tile does not solely communicate through the internet, the company wants to make sure the app is able to sync perfectly with each device’s hardware. The push to expand the platform from iOS to Android aims to further the company’s global expansion as well. Right now Tile can be found in 30 countries, but the highest concentrations are in New York and San Francisco.
Since the company’s launch, more than 500,000 Tiles have been ordered. To date, 300,000 have shipped, with 200,000 to go. Tile hopes to be able to fill the remaining orders and implement next-day shipping by Black Friday in November.