By: Joe Martin, who covers technology, money and law for the Houston Business Journal. Follow him on Twitter for more.
Houston-based Gnomad will launch its mobile advertising and content platform at this year’s South by Southwest festival in the back seat of dozens of Uber cars around Austin.
Gnomad uses iPads mounted between the front seats of Uber cars. The iPads are locked to use a mobile application developed by Houston-based Poetic Systems. The application displays content, advertisements and other features aimed at out-of-town travelers trying to get an idea of what to do during the festival. SXSW runs March 11-20 in Austin.
Currently, the Gnomad’s app features content from the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston-based SnapStream, Austin co-working space Capital Factory and some Austin startups. In addition, Gnomad put together content in conjunction with New York-based culinary website Tasting Table, according to CEO and co-founder Rich Winley.
“We’re expecting to be in about 75 Uber cars,” Winley said. “We’re expecting 20,000 people to see the GHP ad over the weekend.”
Gnomad isn’t an official partner with Uber, but because Uber drivers are independent contractors, they’re free to partner with Gnomad individually. The drivers, who are facing fare cuts, are part of a revenue sharing model with Gnomad, Winley said.
Gnomad is backed by Houston-based technology company Gwee. Gwee was founded by Tad Mayfield, CEO of Houston-based Goldston Oil Corp., according to media reports. Winley declined to say what the financial backing looked like.
And in the long term, Gnomad will bring its tech to New York during Fashion Week, where it partnered with three or four advertising agencies in New York, which Winley declined to name.
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