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About Unacast

The trusted foundation for all location data-driven decisions

We’re building a future where precise and verified human mobility data helps organizations do well and do good. From driving business strategies to tracking infectious diseases, we align to the goals of our clients for the shared benefit of our global community.

As part of the founding team at the music streaming service TIDAL (acquired by Jay-Z in 2014), Thomas Walle and Kjartan Slette wanted to understand where users went to concerts to create better playlists and recommendations. They realized there were no such insights available — or insights of how people move around in the world in general.

If a music streaming service out of Norway needed such data to build better products, there must be multiple companies in multiple industries in need for the same insights. The task to build the Real World Graph — and Unacast was born.

Leadership

Thomas Walle
Thomas Walle
CEO & Co-Founder

As a seasoned sales and go-to-market professional, Thomas´s expertise and track record lies in building complex partnership ecosystems on a global level and running sales and account management teams in the enterprise and consumer markets.Before he founded Unacast, Thomas spearheaded the business development and partnership department at streaming music service TIDAL. Tidal, which launched globally as the first HiFi lossless global streaming service, was later acquired by Jay Z. Under Thomas’ leadership, the department grew paying users by 10x, launched in multiple countries, and negotiated distribution deals with some of the world's largest mobile operators, cable-TV providers and media companies.Prior to entering the music space, Thomas spent several years at PwC in corporate finance, supporting investors with due diligence projects related to M&A.Thomas, once named among the Top 100 Young Leaders in Norway, holds a BS in Business and Communication from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and the University of Southern California.

Kjartan Slette
Kjartan Slette
COO & Co-Founder

As an experienced negotiator and strategist, Kjartan is skilled at building high-performing teams that execute and excel in complex industries.Kjartan is motivated by launching global products that fundamentally change industries. He was part of the founding team at TIDAL where he was responsible for all contract negotiations with music labels and rights holders. In this capacity, Kjartan secured the necessary licenses for TIDAL to launch globally, while managing a vast amount of partners in an economically complex contractual framework.Previously, Kjartan launched RADR Music News, a VEVO/YouTube competitor that brings fully licensed ad-fuelled music videos to publishers. To foster innovation in the music industry, Kjartan co-founded MashUP, an innovation hub within music and technology.Educated at the Copenhagen Business School, Kjartan was named a Top 100 Young Leader in Norway.

Frode Bjerke
Frode Bjerke
Chief Technology Officer

As the CTO at Unacast, Frode manages the overall Technology and Product strategy, always looking to create and deliver purposeful products from data assets.Frode combines product vision with technical expertise and a pragmatic approach to continuously drive improvement, innovation and completeness to the Unacast product portfolio. He is a long serving member of the Unacast team and has been central in the development of Unacast current products. In addition to the CTO role, Frode directly leads the development of Unacast’s platform product.Before joining Unacast Frode was at Bekk Consulting where he mainly worked in the financial sector on API and data engineering related project both as a leader and as a contributor. In San Francisco, he lead the development of a comprehensive product search feature in the location based retail app, ShopSync. Frode is educated in Computer Science at the University of Oslo.

Linn Jordet Nygaard
Linn Jordet Nygaard
VP of Data & Engineering

Linn is the VP of Data Science at Unacast. As an experienced data professional her expertise lies in organising and extracting value from various raw datasources. At Unacast she works with development and quality control of our products in addition to providing insights about our operations and pipelines to the company.Before joining Unacast Linn worked at BearingPoint in Oslo where she for more than ten years led various client projects within Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Machine Learning.She holds a MSc in Industrial Engineering and Technology Management from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).‍

Adam Slackman
Adam Slackman
VP of Sales

Adam is VP of Sales at Unacast where he oversees the commercial teams including Sales, Marketing, Client Success, and Insights & Analytics. In this role he is responsible for global revenue and strategically guiding the team to identify new verticals and growth areas. Prior to joining Unacast, Adam spent 20+ years building teams and selling data driven solutions at both early stage start-ups and large multinational organizations. Well-versed in raising capital, M&A and navigating complex global enterprises, Adam prides himself in developing long-term client relationships and nurturing talent. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Retail & Commerce at Mastercard where he brought game-changing products to market - significantly scaling teams and revenue. Having worked across 6 continents, including living in north Asia, Adam brings a forward-thinking global business perspective and highly analytical approach to Unacast. Adam holds a BA in Sociology from University at Albany.

Betty Ong
Betty Ong
VP of Finance & Operations

As the VP of Finance and Operations at Unacast, Betty manages the company’s financials and oversees all day-to-day operational functions of the company, in addition to collaborating with Unacast’s co-founders to evaluate and engage in investment and strategic opportunities. Before joining Unacast, Betty served as the VP of Finance at Shore Group Associates where she oversaw the spinout of H1 Insights and was concurrently the VP of Finance for both companies. She has 10+ years of corporate finance and operations experience and holds a BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Meet the Team

Frode Bjerke
Frode Bjerke
Chief Technology Officer

Frode is a technologist with a broad set of experiences for his young age. He studied Computer Science at University of Oslo and has since 2013 worked in San Francisco, New York, and Oslo across five industries, proudly he boasts having made mistakes in all of them. Stepping down from the Olympic chase in the odd sport of Curling three years ago, Frode now tries to figure out what to do with his new found spare time.

Eric Hynes
Eric Hynes
Senior Director, Head of Client Success & Partnerships

Eric began his career in the agency world of TV advertising until moving over to the Client Success team at Unacast. When Eric isn't watching soccer or playing golf, he's traveling the world in search for the next best meal and adding to his neverending list of recipes.

Sjur Sundin
Sjur Sundin
Senior Product Designer

Kenny Ling
Kenny Ling
Senior Product Manager

Benjamin Aanes
Benjamin Aanes
Data Scientist

Ingrid Pilskog
Product Manager

Robert Cherrington
Sales Director

Adam Slackman
VP of Sales

In his career, Adam has led teams at companies ranging from early-stage startups to large corporations. He loves to focus on teamwork across Unacast to build best in class location insight products. When he’s not at work, you can find him hunting for street art all over the world and sharing it with his 250K+ followers through his Facebook page "Street Art and Friends."

Colin Nattrass
Senior Data Scientist

Colin joined Unacast as a Data Engineer after working in data-related roles at both Nets, a Nordic payment infrastructure and services provider, and HSBC. His professional interests lie in building big data pipelines and analytical models — used to better understand our world (and ideally translating to better processes, or new products). Outside of work, Colin enjoys spending time in nature — hiking with his girlfriend and dogs, and trying not to injure himself skiing.

Conner Pate
Insights & Analytics Engineer

Most recently Conner worked developing solutions for clients working with big data, specializing in the retail vertical. His favorite part of working with data is discovering unexpected insights. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting and growing bonsai trees - his oldest is over 100 years old!

Hans Olav Hilsen
Director of Data Science

Hans Olav joined Unacast after two years at BearingPoint as a consultant. Prior to that, he earned his degree in Industrial Economics at NTNU, while also assisting students in building racecars and co-running a small company. He enjoys spending his spare time either on the golf course, at the theatre doing improv or dusting off his piano skills, and is an avid skier.

Jarle Fosen
Director of Software Engineering

Jarle loves all things tech, from software to hardware. He enjoys mostly working on backend software with less colors and shapes, but has experience building web and mobile apps as well. Jarle is easily fascinated by most things, and is definitely one to have a lunch with if you want to discuss everything from slippery ice to the vaccuum of space.

John Bobis
Growth Marketing Manager

John is a digital and marketing savant with a background in building and developing marketing departments for several high growth international startups. John is originally from California and in his free time he enjoys taking long hikes in the mountains with his dog, staying up way too late on his PS4, and eating copious amounts of Mexican food.

John Smith
Data Partnerships

John is a seasoned startup professional with a track record of forging partnerships to grow emerging technology companies. When he's not out hunting data, you can find him snowboarding down a volacano, relaxing at a jazz club, or biking across a remote island with his wife, Jordana.

Jon Torre
Senior Sales Director

Jonathan grew up in Connecticut, starting his sales career in financial services. He always enjoyed figuring out how to help correct business inefficiencies, and finds that selling technology provides a unique view into another company's process - as such, his transition into tech sales was a natural next step. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys playing tennis, binge watching Law and Order and hanging out with my wife and dog, George. Despite his last name, Jonathan is a diehard Mets fan!

Susanne Hagen
Data Vendor Manager

After a career in the oil- service industry, Susanne went from mapping the seabed to mapping the real world with Unacast. She holds a master’s in physics and an MBA, and combines the world of tech and business on the supply side. Most of her spare time is dedicated to spending time with her kids, family, and friends, as well as playing volleyball. She doesn’t really like to travel, but loves the destination!

Andreas Olsen
Director of Business Development

Andreas is an engineer with a masters degree from NTNU School of Entrepreneurship. Previously he had a startup together with Martin Sahlen, Unacast's very first technical hire, before moving to media company Schibsted and becoming the CEO of Newmark Capital, which was one of the first investors in Unacast. When he isn't working he is the only athlete on the Madagascan Cross Country ski team, and he represented Madagascar during the World Ski Championship in 2019!

Julie Kirkhus
Software Engineer

Julie joined Unacast as a Software Engineer. She graduated from NTNU in 2016 and worked at CapGemini before coming onboard. Julie is a front-end wizard, and is also very present in the demo scene in Norway. She’s also at level 24 in Pokemon Go.

Kjartan Slette
COO & Co-founder

Kjartan is one of the two founders of Unacast. Previous to Unacast, Kjartan was part of the founding team at TIDAL, acquired by Jay-Z in 2015. He grew up admiring his dad's vinyl collection and always wanted work with music. As the music industry became a tech industry, Kjartan carried on down the path of building global tech companies. Plus, he's a dedicated dad!

Kristine Ivarsøy
Director of Data Science

Kristine is a business intelligence consultant turned data scientist and she likes to work with all kinds of data stuff like processing, quality and analysis. She is from and lives in Oslo, but loves travels to Japan, France and Mexico. Or to just stay at home with a good book or knitting.

Lauren Spinazze
Client Success Director

Lauren joined Unacast after spending the last few years in the commercial real estate research space. She recently relocated to New York from Southern California and in her free time she enjoys playing basketball, learning to code, and spending time with her dog Mozart.

Linn Jordet Nygaard
VP of Data & Engineering

Linn studied industrial engineering and was an IT consultant for eleven years before she was swept away by charming Unacast. Much like other data people she loves structure and tidyness. Outside work she loves to dance jazz ballett, learn new yoga poses or shoot portraits of friends and family. Originally from the countryside in Norway she enjoys travelling very much and has lived in Copenhagen, Cape Town, Busan and London before returning to wonderful Oslo.

Madeline Ngo
Head of Product & Insights

After spending the first half of her career in fashion, Madeline turned her eyes to the tech sector. Madeline worked in Business Intelligence + Analytics at a marketing tech startup before joining Unacast's Solutions team. Her favorite hobbies include fiction novels and solo traveling.

Mathias Schläffer
Data Scientist

After a first career in physiotherapy, Mathias studied spatial- and transport economics in Amsterdam. He then worked in consulting and finance before returning to handling spatial data at Unacast. When he's not at work he is often busy maintaining his sourdough starters and lacto-fermented veggies in the fridge, trying to burn off the homemade pizza and bread, reading up on behavioral economics or simply strolling along the Akerselva river.

Mathis Kristensen
Data Engineer

Prior to joining Unacast as a Data Engineer, Mathis worked as a Consultant in Geodata, where he built data management systems for imagery and elevation data. Outside of work, Mathis enjoys drinking a nice beer in good company. He also loves playing squash and football, and recently, he discovered padel tennis (not to be confused with paddle tennis), which is now his newfound passion.

Ole Christian Langfjæran
Senior Software Engineer

Ole Christian joins Unacast after spending the last 12 years as a consultant and developer at BEKK. As his main occupation he is a dad to two boys, ages 2 and 5, whose main occupation is annoying each other all the way to insanity. Before having a main occupation, and no spare time, he used to fill his spare hours with judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Richie Doyen
Senior Director of Sales

Richie spent the first 9 years of his career in the US Marine Corps before transitioning into the corporate sector as a Relationship Manager with Dun & Bradstreet. He loves to golf, play basketball, and spend time with his two rescue pit bulls, Tony and Maia. Richie also takes time to volunteer with multiple veteran and dog rescue organizations.

Sruthi Subramanyam
Senior Software Engineer

Sruthi spent 4 years at Oracle and AWS in India before moving to Norway and joining Unacast. She holds an MSc in Technology from the Birla Institute Of Technology and Science. Quite the adventure seeker, if she had a week to visit anywhere in the world she would visit Andaman and Nicobar, islands that have it all…beautiful oceans with corals, fun aquariums, nature and beaches, adventurous trips to tribal safaris, limestone caves and volcanoes!

Tesh Patel
Sales Director

Tesh is a sales director with a background in fashion, working in both sales and product roles for companies such as Urban and the NFL. When he’s not working, Tesh enjoys taking data science courses, collecting useless trivia, and going to watch his favorite bands live, like Mike Snow and Nine Inch Nails.

Thomas Walle
CEO & Co-founder

Prior to starting Unacast, Thomas was a founding member of TIDAL, the music streaming service later acquired by Jay-Z. He thrives in new and growing industries where boundaries have not yet been defined. When he isn't working, Thomas loves spending time with his wife and two children in Connecticut.

Tor Åge Ballo
Director of Software Engineering

Tor Åge joins Unacast after spending most of his professional career at Skatteetaten, Norway's IRS, where he was a developer and architect. He lives in Oslo with his soon-to-be wife and two kids. In his youth, when he had free time, he played in multiple bands and nowadays he enjoys snowboarding, skateboarding, weight lifting, running, soccer, and any form of sports involving a ball.

Torbjørn Vatn
Specialized Software Engineer

Torbjørn is experienced IT consultant turned startup hacker. Loves tinkering with all things technical and is a big functional programming advocate. He ride his cargo bike everywhere all year round, even to the ski slopes right by his house. Torbjørn means Thunder Bear in Norwegian.

Betty Ong
VP of Finance & Operations

Betty is Unacast's Finance and Operations powerhouse, with 10+ years of corporate finance and operations, experience working with technology, financial services and consumer products and services companies. She loves doing financial analysis and modeling and solving problems creatively. Outside of work, she loves playing, reading and watching movies with her husband, 3 daughters, and their most beloved dog and is a regular at OTF.

Jan Benetka
Data Scientist

Born and raised in Bohemia, Jan has now lived all over the world. After getting his PhD in Trondheim, he lived and worked in Seattle, Melbourne and Singapore. Unacast was a natural choice for him, given his life-long passion for cartography and academic interest in the influence of spatial context on human behavior. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling and when he does, he makes sure his wife, his camera and his bike(s) are along for the journey.

Benjamin Thürer
Data Scientist

Benjamin is a former neuroscientist who now fulfills his passion for data science at Unacast. He is a dedicated father and moved together with his family from Germany to Oslo. In his free time, you probably find Benjamin running in the forests around Oslo.

Jeffrey Cichon
Sales Director

Jeffrey joined Unacast with a background working in various technology verticals including SaaS, AI / Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, and Big Data. Jeffrey recently was the Director of Sales at SiteZeus, an AI Machine learning platform for the Real Estate Industry. Outside of work, Jeffrey has a passion for playing the piano, guitar, Ducati motorcycles, and the NY Yankees!

Want to join this
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Awards

Board

Patrick Sandahl
Patrick Sandahl
Investinor

Patrick Sandahl has extensive investment and transaction experience after almost 20 years as CEO of an investment company, venture capitalist and investment banker.He came to Investinor after co-founding Cidron Ventures. Prior to Cidron, Patrick was a Director at Nordea Investment Banking with a focus on M&A transactions, rights issues and IPOs. Before joining Nordea, he had the role of CEO at Dyvi Capital, a family office investing in private companies, undervalued listed companies, private equity funds and hedge funds. Prior to Dyvi, Patrick spent7 years as a Partner at Telenor Venture focusing on investments in Nordic technology companies and he had positions at Telenor and The Municipality of Oslo.He has extensive board experience from public and private companies in Scandinavia. Patrick holds a Law degree from the University of Oslo.

Eric Martineau-Fortin
Eric Martineau-Fortin
White Star Capital

Eric has more than 20 years of investment banking and VC investment experience. Prior to founding White Star Capital, he was a co-founding member and partner of a transatlantic investment boutique firm in the media and technology space. Eric was also previously an investment banker with Merrill Lynch International in New York and London as well as with Abn Amro Bank in Paris, London and Amsterdam. Eric has been doing Series A, B and early-growth stage investments since 2007 and led or co-lead multiple investments such as Dahmakan, Parsley Health, Tier Mobility, Freshly, Asia Innovations, Clark, Meero, Klaxoon, Butternutbox, The Guarantors, Drop Loyalty, Dollar Shave Club, Betaworks, Science Media, The Family, BrandProject, Summly and Ludia.

Lars Boilesen
Lars Boilesen
Chairman

Mr. Lars Boilesen is the Chief Executive Officer at Otello Corporation ASA, a position he has held since 2010. Mr. Boilesen has extensive experience in the software and tech industry and has held executive positions in various corporations prior to his joining Opera. He was Executive Vice President of Sales & Distribution at Opera Software ASA from 2000 to 2005, and served on the Board of Directors of Opera Software ASA from 2007 to 2009.From 2005-2008 he was Chief Executive Officer for the Nordic and Baltic Region at Alcatel-Lucent. Mr. Boilesen started his career in the LEGO Group as Sales and Marketing Manager for Eastern Europe. After that, he headed the Northern Europe and Asia Pacific markets for Tandberg Data. He has been on the Board of Directors of Aspiro AB since May 2009 and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cobuilder AS.Mr. Boilesen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Economics from Aarhus Business School, and postgraduate diploma from Kolding Business School.

Thomas Walle
Thomas Walle
CEO & Co-Founder

As a seasoned sales and go-to-market professional, Thomas´s expertise and track record lies in building complex partnership ecosystems on a global level and running sales and account management teams in the enterprise and consumer markets.Before he founded Unacast, Thomas spearheaded the business development and partnership department at streaming music service TIDAL. Tidal, which launched globally as the first HiFi lossless global streaming service, was later acquired by Jay Z. Under Thomas’ leadership, the department grew paying users by 10x, launched in multiple countries, and negotiated distribution deals with some of the world's largest mobile operators, cable-TV providers and media companies.Prior to entering the music space, Thomas spent several years at PwC in corporate finance, supporting investors with due diligence projects related to M&A.Thomas, once named among the Top 100 Young Leaders in Norway, holds a BS in Business and Communication from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and the University of Southern California.

Kjartan Slette
Kjartan Slette
COO & Co-Founder

As an experienced negotiator and strategist, Kjartan is skilled at building high-performing teams that execute and excel in complex industries.Kjartan is motivated by launching global products that fundamentally change industries. He was part of the founding team at TIDAL where he was responsible for all contract negotiations with music labels and rights holders. In this capacity, Kjartan secured the necessary licenses for TIDAL to launch globally, while managing a vast amount of partners in an economically complex contractual framework.Previously, Kjartan launched RADR Music News, a VEVO/YouTube competitor that brings fully licensed ad-fuelled music videos to publishers. To foster innovation in the music industry, Kjartan co-founded MashUP, an innovation hub within music and technology.Educated at the Copenhagen Business School, Kjartan was named a Top 100 Young Leader in Norway.

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Unacast Raises $17.5 Million to Expand its Location Data Products across New Industries and into the European Market

Company will continue to empower businesses to make smarter decisions by providing unprecedented access to human activity through the Real World Graph®

Investors

United States

White Star Capital is an early-stage Venture Capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, data-driven businesses. Based out of London, New York, Montreal, Paris and Tokyo our international presence, perspective and people enable us to partner closely with our Founders to help them scale internationally from Series A onwards.

Norway

Investinor is an evergreen venture investment company, investing in promising technology companies that are aiming for international growth and expansion. Investinor, with USD$525 million under management, is funded by the Norwegian government and syndicates all investments with other venture investors.

Sweden

21,000 talented colleagues serve millions of customers every day. As a hub in the digital ecosystem, Telia’s strong connectivity base empowers people, companies, and cultures to stay in touch with everything that matters. Headquartered in Stockholm, Telia is changing the industry and bringing the world ever closer to customers.

Finland

OpenOcean partners with software entrepreneurs to build global winners. They like companies with large user-bases that disrupt existing markets; handle large amounts of data; crack serious technical challenges and sell their products to other businesses.