SO WIFI, a “social WiFi” provider from Amsterdam, has sold a small minority stake to the investment company 5square. The exact percentage and the value of the transaction have not been disclosed, but the deal is believed to be in the low 7-digits range.
SO WIFI’s current service enables companies in the entertainment and retail industries to gain better insight into their customers’ profiles and to make contact with these customers either during or after a visit. The Dutch startup was founded in 2012 by Daan Donders.
SO WIFI offers a custom Wi-Fi login portal with a free Wi-Fi network that customers can use to securely log in to social media for free. This service, known as “social Wi-Fi,” is already used in over 21,000 locations, in 38 different countries, including locations of major brands like G-Star, Coca-Cola and KFC.
Using the marketing dashboard provided by SO WIFI, companies attain a deeper understanding of who their customers are, and they gain an opportunity to stay in contact with these said customers. Companies can send automatic and customized messages to different target audiences via email or social media. Thanks to the recently started partnership with TripAdvisor, it’s even possible to automatically send visitors a review request. Over the last few years SO WIFI has equipped its locations, currently around 21,000, with iBeacons. In the near future, these will enable companies to send their customers notifications regarding relevant on-location facilities or allow for the customer’s visit to be registered as part of a loyalty program. This can be done using an app, for example.
The newly raised capital will be used to fuel SO WIFI’s international expansion and to launch a world-wide consumer application. It is going to be released in May 2016 for iOS and Android and available in over 14 different languages. App will enables users to access over a million free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the world.
Daan Donders, the founder and CEO of SO WIFI explains: “When you are travelling, finding free and trustworthy Wi-Fi is not always easy. Using our app, you will no longer need to look for an access point or ask for a password. You pick a free network in the neighborhood via the app and with the push of a button you have access to the internet,”