CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 23 February 2017

All the latest martech and adtech news from Amobee and Turn, Isentia, Pegasystems, Tenjin, The Trade Desk, 8i and Hootsuite

Amobee acquires Turn for US$310m

SingTel-owned adtech subsidiary, Amobee, has acquired programmatic adtech vendor, Turn, for US$310 million.

The deals sees Amobee picking up both demand-side platform (DSP) and data management platform (DMP) capabilities, rounding out its offering from mobile to cover all programmatic channels, formats and devices including social as well as bolstering data management and media planning functionality.

Amobee is a cross-channel, cross-device programmatic digital advertising platform that also has analytics, insights and reporting features. In a statement, SingTel said the deal brings its total investment into Amobee to more than US$1 billion.

Turn’s customer base includes KraftHeinz, Toyota and L’Oreal USA. The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.

“This acquisition will strengthen Amobee’s position as a leading provider of digital marketing solutions across all channels and devices for global brands and agencies,”Amobee A/NZ managing director, Liam Walsh, said. “The combined technology capabilities position Amobee to build additional, highly effective data and programmatic strategies across display, video, mobile and social platformns, further leveraging Amobee Brand Intelligence insights.”

Hootsuite acquires Liftmetrix

Social media management platform, HootSuite, has also joined the acquirer’s list this week, picking up social analytics company, LiftMetrix.

In a statement, Hootsuite said the acquisition would bring additional analytics capabilities into its score social marketing solution, helping brands better understand the effectiveness of their paid, owned and earned campaigns. Specific functionality includes social-to-Web conversion tracking, content recommendations and insights, social data warehousing and integration with business intelligence tools. The pair have been working up until now as partners.

The deal comes just weeks after Hootsuite acquired digital advertising player, AdEspresso.

“It’s critical for marketers today to prove the impact of social advertising on the company’s bottom line,” said Hootsuite CEO, Ryan Holmes. “LiftMetrix offers a sophisticated yet easy-to-use analytics solution that helps our customers make sense of data to maximise social marketing results.”


Isentia updates flagship Mediaportal platform

ASX-listed Isentia has made several improvements to its SaaS-based Mediaportal platform aimed at better integrating its media intelligence, insights and content capabilities.

The new features including customisable story alerts and content management, designed to help users tailor insights, a mobile-responsive site plus a more intuitive interface including single-click response functionality and side menu. There’s also top-of-page search functionality and better access to print, online and social items.

“By making it easier for clients to find and analyse headlines, trends and conversations as they unfold, Mediaportal’s new features will help empower their day to day decisions,” said Isentia CEO, John Croll.

Pegasystems partners with Mulesoft

CRM provider, Pegasystems, has partnered with MuleSoft in order to expand the third-party platform integration capabilities of its offering.

The vendor has announced availability of the MuleSoft Certified API specification, which enables Pega customers to integrate Pega applications with most third-party applications, systems and devices through the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. The main aim is to make it easier for users to tap into other sources of customer data across their organisation in order to build a more holistic picture of their customer.

The specification is being offered for free to existing Pega customers.

“While many vendors talk about how artificial intelligence will change the way businesses interact with customers, they first need access to disparate data locked in different systems,” said Pega CTO and VP of product marketing, Don Schuerman. “By partnering with MuleSoft, we can further break down these silos and more quickly provide our clients with actionable insights from our AI-powered solutions to improve the way they engage with their customers.”

Tenjin expands mobile marketing platform with new partnerships

Mobile marketing infrastructure firm, Tenjin, has struck up partnerships with looker and Chartio in a bid to improve the capabilities of its offering.

The new agreements will see Tenjin combining its DataVault data warehousing infrastructure with visualisation tools from Looker and Chartio in order to make marketing data more accessible to users.

“With user acquisition costs as high as they are, it’s crucial that app marketers have robust business intelligence tools to help them identify, target and acquire high-value users,” said Tenjin co-founder and CEO, Christopher Farm. “Through these partnerships with Chartio and Looker, we are now able to provide our customers with the industry’s most powerful visualisation tools as well.”

The partnerships also complement Tenjin’s recent deal with visual analytics platform provider, deltaDNA.

The Trade Desk surpasses US$1bn in platform spend

The Trade Desk broke through the US$1 billion mark in gross ad spend on its platform during 2016, according to its Q4 financial report.

The DSP provider said it generated $75 million in net profit off the back of the record programmatic ad spending across its platforms in the last calendar year. Revenue grew 78 per cent to more than 4200 million.

Mobile in-app and mobile video revenue grew by about 400 per cent and 300 per cent year-on-year, while native leap 700 per cent over the previous quarter, according to a report posted on AdExchanger.

Spending also more than doubled from the previous quarter for The Trade desk’s connected TV business. Of its total revenue, 10 per cent was driven by international markets, but this is expected to grow to 15 per cent in 2017.

New Zealand VR startup raises US$27m

Kiwi-based virtual reality startup, 8i, has raised US427 million in a series B funding round led by Time Warner Investments.

The new funding will be used to develop its augmented reality content creation app, Holo, allowing users to share 3D content. The offering is being trialled by AR platform Tango, which was developed by Google.

8i’s core focus has been producing software that allows 3D holograms to be views using VR or AR devices. It does this by converting traditional video into 3D models.

The latest cash injection comes after the company raised $13.5m in its Series A funding round from investors include Samsung and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.

“This is an exciting time for our company and for 3D computing in general, as people begin to experiment with augmented and mixed reality by putting moving, realistic 3D digital objects into real-life environments,”8i CEO, Steve Raymond said, pointing to Pokemon Go as an example.

“Our investment into mobile AR in no way diminishes our excitement for the many use cases that are emerging for our holograms in high-end VR.”

IP Australia takes up AI virtual assistant

IP Australia has become the first Asia-Pacific organisation to adopt Nuance's new artificial intelligence-based virtual platform.

The group will add the next-generation automated machine learning and AI capabilities to its Alex online virtual assistant. The tool is used to provide customer service on the IP Australia website and was launched in August 2016. According to the group, Alex is achieving 80 per cent first-contact resolution during customer engagements.

The new functionality allows the virtual assistant to learn from ingested organisational content and human agent’s responses, enabling Alex to independently handle increasingly complex enquiries over time. This is what Nuance calls the human assisted virtual agent, the latest in supervised AI technology.

Currently, IP Australia’s online virtual assistant helps customers understand trademark, patent, designs and plant breeder’s rights processes.

“With approximately 99.6 per cent of our customers now transacting with us online, we are reimagining the digital service experience," said director general of IP Australia, Patricia Kelly. "IP Australia is focused on helping innovators, especially Australian small to medium businesses, successfully navigate IP rights processes. The latest advancements from Nuance assist us to take our 24/7 customer experience to the next level through the implementation of advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning”.

Nuance has also announced a partnership with Datacom to deliver Nuance's cognitive and artificial intelligence technology, incorporate data from its contact centre operations, and integrate directly with IP Australia’s live agent chat solution.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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