Glympse scores $12M as its location-sharing technology moves into more apps, gadgets

Glympse has raised a $12 million in funding as it continues to integrate its location-sharing service into more messaging apps, wearables and cars. New investors UMC Capital and Verizon Ventures chipped in the Series C round as well as existing backers Ignition Partners, Menlo Ventures and Naya Ventures.

Glympse’s core service is an app (available on iPhone(s aapl), Android(s goog) and Windows Phone(s msft)) that lets its users to temporarily share not only their real-time locations but their eventual destinations so they can coordinate their activities. But lately Glympse has been focusing more on partnerships that put its technology into other apps and devices.

In the last year, Glympse has signed deals with Verizon(s vz) (hence its investment), Samsung and BlackBerry(s bbry) to integrate its technology directly into their messaging apps so users can share their location directly from a conversation. It’s brought an optimized version of its app to both the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Pebble smart watches.

Source: Glympse

Source: Glympse

Glympse has landed on the dashboards of BMW, Mini, Ford(s f), GM(s gm), Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Volvo vehicles; as well as in Garmin and Navigon navigation systems. Glympse has even taken to the skies, powering an arrival notification service for Gogo(s gogo) that lets the driver of your ride home from the airport track your progress through the skies.

Those partnerships are key to Glympse’s business model, said CEO and co-founder Bryan Trussel. While Glympse’s stand-alone app will always be free to users, it charges licensing fees to any third-party that connects to its service, he said. Trussel didn’t reveal any specifics on total app downloads or Glympse sessions, but he said that with all of its partnerships its service is now in tens of millions of devices. Glympse is also starting to see a big shift in Glympse traffic away from its own app to its partners’ apps.

“The majority of Glympse sessions are still set through the app today, but by the end of the year the majority will be coming from our partners,” Trussel said.

Consequently Glympse is looking to add more partners and position its location-sharing as a de facto feature on every manner of navigation or collaboration service. One of the next big opportunities for Glympse will be targeting businesses, Trussel said. While Glympse is mainly a consumer peer-to-peer service, couriers, restaurants and limo and taxi companies could readily adopt location sharing.

“Fast forward five years, and we’ll have to think back on the days when we wondered where our pizza was,” Trussel said.

Glympse has now raised a total of $20 million.