Location Gold Rush: SimpleGeo Raises a Quick Series A

SimpleGeo, the impeccably timed geo-location infrastructure startup, has raised a $8.14 million Series A round from Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Ravi Narasimhan and Foundry Group after raising a $1.5 million seed round last November. And at only a year old, it’s remarkable how quickly the Boulder, Colo-based company has been able to capitalize on the excitement around geo-location technology and be recognized as a thought leader in the space.

SimpleGeo founders Matt Galligan and Joe Stump

For some rumor mill watchers, it’s interesting to note that Redpoint is making the big bet on SimpleGeo (though the venture firm was also in the company’s seed round) and Accel Partners just led a big round for Booyah, the maker of MyTown. Both firms had reportedly been in talks to put a major investment into Foursquare. SimpleGeo and Booyah aren’t necessarily direct Foursquare competitors, but it’s clear both VC firms wanted to have a big location investment to put them on the map.

What SimpleGeo does is provide location data from its API, as sort of an instant geo-juice for your app. So if a service acquires information about where one of its users is (usually through their phone), SimpleGeo will relay what’s nearby that latitude and longitude. The company charges customers between $400 and $10,000 per month, commensurate with the number of API calls.

SimpleGeo also announced a number of additions to its team, including many from Digg, where co-founder Joe Stump formerly worked. One notable hire is Jeffrey Kalmikoff, who was until recently at Digg and before that was chief creative officer for Threadless, the innovative user-generated T-shirt shop. He will be VP of product for SimpleGeo.

SimpleGeo competitor Mixer Labs (aka GeoAPI) was bought by Twitter last year and its founders now lead Twitter’s location efforts.

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