CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 1 February 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week

ContentSquare raises US$42 million

ContentSquare has raised a $42 million in its series b funding round, led by Canaan, Highland Europe, Eurazeo, and H14. The funding will be used to continue to grow ContentSquare’s business in the U.S. and globally.

Used by content, ecommerce, analytics, acquisition, IT and UX teams, ContentSquare aims to become the first fully automated, AI driven digital experience platform.

Facebook acquires Confirm.io

Facebook has acquired Confirm.io, a startup allowing companies to quickly authenticate government-issued identification cards, like driver’s licences. 

The startup will shut down as both its team and technology are rolled into Facebook. All of its current digital ID authentication software offerings will be wound down.

Confirm.io had raised at least US$4 million from investors, including Cava Capital, since launching three years ago. It uses advanced forensics used to pull information from an ID card, as well as mobile biometrics and facial recognition, to confirm a person’s identity.

SAP acquires CallidusCloud

SAP has acquired CallidusCloud in order to strengthen the enterprise software vendor's position in the customer relationship management (CRM) space. 

CallidusCloud as part of SAP will link front and back offices, align sales, compensation and corporate goals, and ensure real-time data flow between the field and finance department. CallidusCloud offers a full suite of SPM and CPQ solutions, including sales enablement, sales analytics, and customer engagement. The combination of SAP's assets with CallidusCloud's will deliver a cloud-based 'Lead-to-Cash' offering.

The CallidusCloud board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to approval from CallidusCloud stockholders, clearances by the relevant regulatory authorities, and other customary closing conditions.

Flamingo AI secures extra capital

ASX-listed Flamingo AI has successfully raised $10m in capital in the December quarter of 2017.

The AI and machine learning company provides cognitive virtual assistant technology to seven clients across the US, Australia and Asia, three of which are currently in the live evaluation phase of its virtual sales and service assistant, ‘ROSIE’.

The company raised $5.1m in capital in September, and the additional $10m raised in December means the company will deliver on projects in the pipeline and explore new opportunities.

Mintigo launches new ABM solution

Mintigo has launched Mintigo Predictive Audiences. Powered by AI, this solution is designed to help customers of Marketo maximise their return from account-based marketing (ABM) investments.

Users of this product will be able to access and target high-quality audiences generated with real-time first and third-party data. This solution addresses a need for marketers to gain actionable, meaningful insights they can use to segment their account lists. Mintigo Predictive Audiences caters to small and growing companies seeking to drive greater returns from ABM.

"Marketers are spending a lot of resources and efforts on implementing ABM. The one key missing ingredient is the discovery and targeting of the right audience," said Jacob Shama, CEO and co-founder at Mintigo. "This is where AI and Mintigo Predictive Audiences can make a huge difference in driving the best quality audiences for each ABM campaign." 

Salesforce makes US$11.3m purchase

Salesforce issued US$11.3 million in equity to an unknown recipient, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Salesforce said that the equity was issued "in relation to an acquisition".

It is likely the acquisition is Attic Labs, an early stage startup Salesforce acquired on January 8. Attic Labs is the creator of Noms, an open-source decentralised database launched in August 2016. 

It is Salesforce’s first acquisition of 2018, following its purchase of digital creative agency, Sequence, in 2017.

GoDaddy acquires Main Street Hub

GoDaddy has agreed to acquire Main Street Hub for approximately US$125 million, plus up to US$50 million in potential future earn outs. The transaction has been approved by the GoDaddy board of directors and is expected to close late in the second quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory and other closing requirements.

Main Street Hub provides small businesses with a 'do-it-for-me' service for managing engagement on the most popular social networks. It combines teams of branding experts with proprietary technology to manage activity on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp, among others, to help small businesses acquire new customers and build stronger relationships with existing customers.

The acquisition furthers GoDaddy's strategy for small business owners who prefer to have dedicated experts build their online presence and manage it for them to accelerate growth and achieve their goals.

GoDaddy will offer customers a complete suite of 'do-it-for-me' capabilities for building an online presence that can be delivered by either GoDaddy small business experts or, for more advanced features and functionality, GoDaddy's community of web professionals.

Qualaroo sentiment analysis integrated with feedback platform

Qualaroo’s sentiment analysis has been integrated with Qualaroo’s real-time feedback platform. The integration allows companies to cut the time and resources taken to mine through open text feedback and close the gap between feedback received to activation.

Companies running surveys with open text feedback can now utilise IBM Watson within the Qualaroo dashboard to automatically generate the sentiment and emotional score for each comment and identify common keywords. 

Showpad nabs extra funding

Showpad has secured $25 million in additional series C funding from Insight Venture Partners. The funding will be used for investment in new markets, the expansion of Showpad's global strategy, and continued product development.

Showpad was ranked the third-fastest growing company in Belgium on Deloitte's 2017 Technology Fast 50 List and was recognised as a winner by Oracle and Netsuite for its international presence, awards and recognition, media attention and depth of products and services. The company also passed the 1000 client threshold last year.

"Our ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between sales and marketing to drive more revenue faster with a better buyer experience, intelligent sales content, and impactful analytics," said Louis Jonckheere, Showpad CPO and co-founder. "We're continuing to enhance our platform and product portfolio with advanced technology and machine learning to make sales enablement smarter. As the B2B buying experience continues to become similar to the B2C experience, we're making key investments in technology that keeps us at the forefront of this shift in buyer expectations."

Catalina introduces the Catalina New Product Accelerator

Catalina launched its Catalina New Product Accelerator, a solution that aims to give brands the ability to predict, track, and accelerate sales performance across a scaled network of national retailers. 

The solution increases the success rate of new product launches with an end-to-end solution combining real-time forecasts of new product sales potential, real-time reporting of actual sales results, and the ability to efficiently target and activate shoppers with omni-channel media to accelerate sales performance.  

An estimated 85 per cent of new product launches fail within the first year. Catalina developed the solution to give brands pre-and post-launch performance insights and control over shopper engagement to drive sales.

Based on the analysis of over 15,000 previous new product launch campaigns, Catalina New Product Accelerator provides marketers instant visibility to understand buyer profiles and view the behaviours driving sales, track distribution and consumption, predict full-year performance results, and enable the activation of course-correcting media to ignite sales with the right shoppers. 


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