Brian Handly is the Founder and CEO of Raleigh’s Reveal Mobile, a Data-as-a-Service and mobile intelligence firm that builds location-based audiences from billions of data signals from opted-in mobile devices. At Reveal Mobile, Brian has been instrumental in developing new technology to enable significantly higher precision in mobile location data and has recently been granted his second patent for the company.
Prior to Reveal Mobile, Brian was Co-Founder and CEO of Accipiter, acquired by Atlas in 2006, followed by the $6.1 billion acquisition of Atlas by Microsoft in 2007. Brian has more than 20 years of technical, operational and executive management experience, including 18 years in advertising technology. Brian’s expertise spans all corporate functions, including sales, marketing, development, finance and public speaking. He has successfully navigated complex mergers and acquisitions, international expansion and venture capitalization. He is also an active angel investor and advisor to several technology companies. He has served on the Board of Directors of WebAssign and is currently serving as an Operating Partner for Frontier Capital.
1. What is in your pockets?
I typically carry my car keys and cell phone. I’ve got a case around my cell phone which holds my driver’s license, credit card and a couple of mass transit cards, including MARTA in Atlanta and the subway system in New York.
2. What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?
We are a mobile location data platform that is a data-as-a-service company. We work with thousands of mobile apps, where we analyze location data from any user who’s opted into location services. Our customers are typically brands or advertising agencies that are looking for foot traffic or retail analytics on that data.
The most recent thing that’s happened is that we were just granted our second patent, which was probably four years or so in the making. Not a real revenue opportunity for us, just more IP protection. In terms of revenue the most exciting thing that’s happened is we released a couple of new products at the very end of 2018 that have really materialized in 2019. One in particular has gone from zero dollars in the pipeline to over $4 million in the pipeline in less than 6 months, so that’s the exciting thing about what’s going on in the company.
3. What is your favorite coffee spot?
The coffee shop that I go to the most frequently is a block and half down from our office, and that’s Cup A Joe on Hillsborough Street. It’s a great meeting place and they’ve got good coffee as well. More close to home, my favorite coffee shop is Jubala Coffee in Lafayette Village (in Raleigh). They’ve got great atmosphere, really good coffee, and they also have great waffles. If you haven’t had them, you should try them.
4. What keeps you up at night?
The biggest thing for me from a company perspective is privacy legislation and regulation. We are a data company. There is a lot of scrutiny now around collection and use of data. You can see it even in the flap over the Facebook ‘aging’ app that everybody tried to use and whether that was or wasn’t collecting data that it wasn’t supposed to. We try to do everything to stay on the right side of the privacy issues.
GDPR came out in Europe. The great thing about GDPR is they gave you a full year to implement it. So what keeps me up at night about that for our company is in the U.S. it’s much more chaotic. California is leading the regulation legislation issues, but it’s a moving target. Every week the legislation potentially changes and so it’s really hard to try to adapt to a target that just continually is moving. So that’s the thing that keeps me up at night these days.
5. What is your favorite restaurant or happy hour?
I live in Wake Forest and my favorite restaurant close to home is Mizu, which is a great sushi restaurant. My family really likes sushi; it’s our regular hangout. My guilty pleasure for restaurants is Bojangles’ for breakfast. They’ve got an awesome sausage and egg biscuit. Everyone knows them for chicken, but you should try their sausage.
6. What is next for you or your organization?
From a company perspective we are just starting to look at a fundraiser to raise $5-$7 million. Our customer acquisition cost is pretty low and our average selling price is increasing so it’s now time to really build on the sales effort. We’re actively going up and down the West Coast trying to raise funds from the right equity partner.
What I am going to do next is sort of a running joke for me since I get this question so often. The game that I tell everybody, because I don’t know what I’m going to do, is say I’m going to be a goat rancher. I’ve had that question so many times that somebody has subscribed me to Goat Rancher Magazine. Now I get Goat Rancher Magazine every month and I read it almost from cover to cover every month. If you ever need to know the price of goats I’m your guy.