#SFSW18: Factual CEO Talks Company’s Top-Notch Approach to Location Data

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Gil Elbaz, CEO, Factual, on “The State of Local Data” at Street Fight Summit West, the premier annual event for hyperlocal content, commerce, marketing, and technology professionals. Held at Vibiana in Los Angeles, California, January 31, 2018.

Unlike so many location-based rivals, Factual’s goal is not to convert geospatial data into top-notch marketing solutions. The company, founder and CEO Gil Elbaz said Wednesday morning at Street Fight Summit West in Los Angeles in conversation with Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide, is laser-focused on providing top-notch location data. 

But providing high-quality data is nothing to sneeze at, and it has earned Factual a client base of hundreds that includes the world’s biggest companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.

In fact, Elbaz first had the idea for Factual over a decade ago while working for Google. 

“I’ve always been a data person, but seeing the intensity within Google of collecting info … made me start to think that the rest of the world is in trouble,” Elbaz said. Predicting the state of today’s tech and business world, Elbaz said he figured back then that business would come to be dominated by a few companies with a stronghold on consumer data.

With that idea in mind, he set out to build Factual, a neutral company that collects Google-quality data and provides it to numerous other players without the tech giants’ data-collecting infrastructure.

As for Factual’s partners and clients, they can put the company’s data to three major use cases. Elbaz described these as “building cool apps” such as Apple Maps, Facebook, and Uber; location-based marketing approaches; as well as analytics and insights, a form of data visualization in regards to which Factual and others are “just scratching the surface.”

Slightly more than half of Factual’s revenues are based on marketing use cases such as targeting and insights. The company also has relationships and integrations with demand platforms that help it bring its data to market and evangelizes agencies and brands so that they understand the power of location data, Elbaz said.

“Our goal is to have the highest-quality location data across all countries,” Elbaz said. As long as Factual succeeds on that front, it should be serving location data to the biggest companies in the world for years to come.

Joe Zappa is Street Fight’s news editor. Photography by Shana Wittenwyler.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]