Indoor navigation was something we heard a lot about after the launch of the iPhone and during that first wave of location-based apps. But technology has quietly evolved in recent years and is perhaps more important now than ever. Orient, which powers the platform Instacart shoppers use to collect their orders across hundreds of stores across North America, announced this week that it has raised an $11 million Series A round, bringing total funding to $16 million. brings. OurCrowd† Regal Four (a Bear family business), F2 venture capital† NGN partners and Future Energy Companies participated in this new round.
The idea behind Orient, which currently has 35 employees, is to offer an indoor positioning platform that can work without special hardware, beacons or Wi-Fi to locate you in an airport, office, retail store or anywhere else without access to a GPS. signal . Instead, the company says: applications “Earth’s Magnetic Field, Smartphone Measurements, and AI.” Using the compass and other sensors in a phone and each building’s unique way of distorting the Earth’s magnetic field, it can then determine your position in that building. Of course, to make this possible, someone has to map the building first, but the company says it only takes a regular smartphone. After that, the data is uploaded to Orient’s servers and analyzed using its own algorithms to create a map.
“When we started building Orient, our vision was to create the world’s first true software-only indoor location solution. We knew it had to be accurate, cost-effective and scalable, and we couldn’t compromise on that,” said Mickey Balter, the company’s CEO and co-founder. “Prior funding has enabled us to deliver on this promise and commercialize the technology. After achieving technology breakthroughs in 2021, we have seen great momentum in adoption. This new round of funds will help us take that momentum to the next level: lighting all the commercial buildings in the world with the visibility and data-driven insights of the digital world.”
In addition to partnering with Instacart, Orient recently partnered with Google Cloud, making the SDK available on Google Cloud’s Marketplace.
The company expects to use the new funding to scale its coverage to “tens of thousands” of locations, open new verticals and expand its global sales force. Currently, the company’s main focus is on individual retail brands and shopping centers, but there are obviously plenty of other use cases for this technology beyond retail.