Thomas Walle

Co-Founder & CEO, Unacast

Kjartan Slette

Co-Founder & COO, Unacast

I enjoy building companies that solve complexity and fragmentation. Unacast does just that for the location industry.

The more complexity, the better. The more fragmentation, the bigger is the opportunity. New industries that are not yet defined and where we can create and lead a new category is where I thrive and have had success. Yes, complexity and fragmentation are hard to solve, but even more rewarding when successfully done.

The two companies I’ve built both solved complexity and fragmentation. First, the music streaming service TIDAL (acquired by Jay Z) started out at the same time as Spotify and we changed the way people listen to music. Together with my Unacast co-founder, Kjartan Slette, we played our part in unifying all record labels onto one service to save a music industry from being (literally) killed by piracy.

Now, we see a world that is rapidly being “sensored up” with sensors and other location tech deployed in everything from retail stores, airports, hotels to sports stadiums. We've build the #1 platform for all this valuable location data to power marketers and other data companies with The Real World Graph® - the connection between people and places at the most accurate level.

As we build the Real World Graph®, I look forward to sharing that journey and what I have on my mind. Subscribe to my newsletter to get my new articles directly to your inbox.

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articles and mentions

A Year at Unacast: Looking Back at 2018

2018 was a remarkable year, both for the location data industry as a whole and Unacast as a company. I recently shared my year-end reflections with our friends, clients and partners. Read on to find out what we learned this year and what's next.

Trust Through Transparency - The Opening Keynote at Real World Talks 2018

Did you miss Real World Talks 2018? Catch Thomas Walle's opening keynote, presenting why we at Unacast believe that "Trust Through Transparency" is essential in data.

The Pitfall of a Post-GDPR World: "Compliance" is Not Synonymous with "Quality"

Post GDPR, many tech companies are pushing a false equivalency between compliance and the quality of their products. It’s crucial to remember that GDPR compliance is not a form of differentiation, but the barrier of entry to doing business in data-driven marketing

Marketers Need to Know the Truth About GPS

GPS can offer a lot of value to marketers - but only if they're willing to look under the hood to understand what it can (and can't) do.

Navigating Location Data's Ethical Minefield

The question of ethics has a place in the location data industry. Here's how you should be thinking about it.

Let's Just Agree That Location Data is Inaccurate

When it comes to location data, do you really know what you're getting? It's time to get real about accuracy and transparency.

An Open Letter: Transparency, Privacy and Individual Rights

As questions surrounding data transparency, privacy and compliance become increasingly prevalent, I want to take the time to address these topics and make the values and business practices of Unacast clear.

Unacast Raises $17.5m to Bring the Real World Graph® to New Geographies and Verticals – and to Mars

I’m excited to share that Unacast has raised a new round of capital from Transatlantic VC White Star Capital with the European telco Telia as follower. Existing investors Open Ocean Capital and Investinor are also participating - both increasing their investments from the previous round.

Oh, Snap: Why Wall Street's Wild Card Needs to Focus on Data

It's impossible for Snap to escape comparisons to Google and Facebook. But there's a fundamental problem. Google and Facebook are data companies. Snap is simply ... not. And it needs to change its stripes.

2018: Full Speed Ahead

2018 is just getting started - and so is Unacast. Here's a look at what 2017 brought to the company and the location data industry, and where we're going in 2018.

Why Brands Will Demand Transparency from Location Data

In any emerging industry, it is not uncommon to see companies claiming to offer the best product or most accurate information or access to insights that no one else has as a way of carving out market share. The location data space is no different - but brands want more than just information.

Defining the Real World Graph

The Real-World Graph maps out the connection between people and places, giving insight into how people move and behave in the real world – the places they go to, where they shop and travel, and how often they do so.

Data Sources: What's The Difference And Why Does It Matter?

As having proximity and location data becomes less of a nice-to-have and more of a necessity, it’s important for brands to know not only the benefits that using such data will bring but also the potential pitfalls that should be avoided.

The Real-World Abandoned Shopping Cart

According to Business Insider, $4.6 trillion worth of merchandise was abandoned in carts in 2016 alone. This has led to an uptick in the number of retailers who send shopping cart abandonment messages, as well as a renewed concentration on using those items left unpurchased to retarget customers, creating another consumer touchpoint.

Why Location Data Should Matter To All Consumer Brands

Not paying attention to location data simply because you don’t run a physical store? If that’s the case, I’d like to make an argument for paying greater attention to location. Simply put, location needs to matter to all consumer brands. It’s not just for brick-and-mortar retailers -- it’s for everyone.

Why Location Is the Next CRM

With geolocation data being a part of everything we do these days, advertising or otherwise, why shouldn’t this data be layered into existing consumer profiles?

6 Emerging Trends in Location & Proximity

Location and proximity are two of the biggest things that marketers can’t stop talking about. Here are six things you need to know about the market for location and proximity data.

How Brands Can And Should Be Using Proximity Data

Over the past few years, location and proximity data have transformed the retail space — both literally and figuratively. Proximity data is no longer a nice-to-have; it's quickly becoming a requirement for doing business in the modern age.

The Big Leagues: Transparency Reaches Location

Throughout the conferences I attended last year, it was often an uphill battle for me as I worked to educate people there about the merits of location data and why companies need a proximity strategy in order to thrive. This year was very different.

Location: Cannes

Team Unacast attended the Cannes Lion festival this year. It was a really exciting week meeting partners and the entire industry and I want to share our learning's from the festival and what it means for the location and proximity industry.

Snapchat is going places: Bets big on location data

The intersection of people based products and marketing, big and small data, and accurate location data is quickly becoming a “must have” component of many smart product offerings and companies. The latest “must have” proof point being Snapchat’s 200 million acquisition of location and attribution startup Placed.

Unacast and the Real World Graph™

This post is an elaboration of the keynote that I held at the SLUSH conference in Helsinki where, for the first time, I presented The Real World Graph™

Apple Pay Should Pair With iBeacon

The last few years Apple has invested in the retail industry, primarily through the launch of Apple Pay and iBeacon. Both technologies address separate challenges for the customer experience and the store and they show a massive potential in revolutionizing our real world shopping experience.

This Is How To Ask For Introductions With Success

An efficient technique that makes your success rate for introductions astronomically higher

Understanding Proximity Data — You´re this close

What is Proximity Data?

Rio Olympics Needed More Location-Based Technologies

Here are my ideas on how proximity technologies could be used to make the next Olympics even better

All Eyes on Location Data - Recap From Cannes Lions

Top advertisers, agencies and ad platforms gathered at Cannes to talk about creativity, new technologies and where the industry is heading.

3 Key Takeaways From I-COM

Thomas Walle shares his main takeaways from I-COM, the global forum for marketing, data and measurement companies

3 Take Aways From NRF "Retail’s BIG Show 2016" in NYC

Learn about the main takeaways from NRF 2016 related to beacon and proximity technology

Do You Use Relevant Data to Create the Right Message?

To deliver the right message it is crucial to know the customer

Bob! Get in the Sled!

What is the most heavily discussed topic in the proximity industry?

Solving the Concern of Privacy and Security

The importance of prioritizing the end consumer in the proximity industry

The Retail Revolution

Physical retail is changing, and more so than you can probably fathom

Unacast Raises $1.6M

To further grow the company in line with the fast growing proximity industry, we are today announcing a seed raise of $1.6m

Adweek /

How Snapchat’s, Facebook’s Location Capabilities Change the Game for Small Businesses

Opinion: SMBs are no longer operating in a vacuum or reliant on direct mail to reach their audience

Forbes Technology Council/

A Closer Look At The Retail Industry In Crisis (And What Role Technology Plays In Solving It)

Forbes Interview with Thomas Walle; CEO and Co-founder of Unacast, the world’s largest proximity data platform.

Kevin Matthies/

First Look: Unacast’s Proximity.Directory Dispels Industry Tech Perceptions

Proximity.Directory, hailed as being the world’s largest directory of proximity companies, has just released its Q1 2017 Report which has aggregated information from more than 388 Proximity Solution Providers in over 52 different countries and reveals the latest trends, facts and figures from the global...

Nancy Ayala/

Report: Beacons Making Sizable Impact on Retail

As proximity technology grows, so too the demand from more companies — both big and small — for aggregated information. By getting to know the customer, retailers can bridge the offline and online experience and provide a more personalized shopping setting.

Jeremy Goldman/

The Startup That Just Might Threaten Google

Unacast is out to change the world of advertising forever - and it just might succeed.

Dean Takahashi/

The world’s smartest cities include Singapore, New York, Barcelona

The world’s smartest cities in terms of technology-sensing infrastructure include Singapore, New York, Barcelona, Oslo, London, and San Francisco, according to Unacast’s latest Proximity.Directory Report (Formerly Proxbook).

Greg Sterling/

Proximity and beacon data now making its way into DSPs for retargeting

Unacast and Juice Mobile deal a leading indicator of where market is going

Nicole Spector/

Report: Airports Could Be the Next Big Beacon Hubs

All the while smartphones are out. For location-based marketers, the airport is a world of opportunity.

Michael Essany/

Unacast Boss Talks Proximity Data

The following is a guest contributed post by Thomas Walle, Co-Founder and CEO of Unacast. What is Proximity Data?

Andrew Dubatowka/

How Beacon Data Helps Marketers Target Consumers Beyond Store Walls

“Industry players are starting to understand the value of the data and how they can use it to extend the communication into online channels”

Allison Schiff/

Unacast Raises $5M In Bid To Link Up The World’s Beacons

Location data newbie Unacast is looking to help mature the still nascent beacon market.

Kate Kaye/

A Hub for Mobile Beacon Data, Unacast Aims to Woo Brands

Mobile Proximity Data Firm Scores $5 Million in Funding

Daniel Parisi/

Coca-Cola And Unacast Use Beacons To Retarget Moviegoers Before And After The Credits Roll

A beacon marketing effort arranged by proximity retargeting platform Unacast for Coca-Cola demonstrated how physical businesses can use location-based advertising beyond direct response-oriented push notifications.

Louise Jack/

The Makers of Tidal Are Now Creating A Proximity Network, Connecting Location Data To Online Ads

Norway’s Unacast is looking to make proximity data more useful by creating what is, in effect, the offline cookie.