CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 2 August 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from SessionM, Cleverbridge, Sendy, Rakuten Marketing, Sizmek, Qlik, Cheetah Digital and Twilio

SessionM announces US$23.8m in strategic funding

SessionM has closed a US$23.8 million funding round led by Salesforce Ventures with full participation from existing premier investors including Causeway Media Partners, CRV, General Atlantic, Highland Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

This is the second investment in the company by Salesforce Ventures. SessionM will use the funds to accelerate sales and marketing, product innovation, talent acquisition and global expansion.

SessionM enables companies to engage individual customers with the most relevant offers, product recommendations and incentives. By analysing behavioural and transactional data in real time, and applying machine learning, SessionM aims to deliver personalised experiences based on individuals’ unique characteristics.

Cleverbridge debuts new performance marketing platform

Cleverbridge has launched its new Performance Marketing Platform. Leveraging Partnerize’s partner and affiliate marketing solution, the new offering aims to enable advertisers to on-board, track, optimise and pay any type of publisher for advertising their products or services.

The platform is available immediately as either a self-managed or managed service, the latter of which offers Cleverbridge’s additional strategic marketing, campaign execution, and creative services expertise to help clients boost online traffic, customer acquisition and overall revenue.

The scalable platform offers clients flexible partner and affiliate management capabilities, real-time performance measurement and analysis for web and mobile conversion, and payment processing and settlement in 60 currencies.

Rakuten Marketing's new programmatic prospecting edition

Rakuten Marketing has released a new edition of its programmatic prospecting product, in an effort to connect brands with relevant, in-market audiences they wouldn’t have otherwise found.

This new edition of Rakuten Marketing Prospecting is powered by proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology and taps into Rakuten's ecosystem data. It aims to help brands acquire high-value consumers that will drive long-term growth through loyalty and repeat purchases.

The Rakuten Marketing AI and ML algorithms learn from consumer signals, enhanced by CRM data or DMP integration, to create more dynamic audiences than those that simply mirror existing customers. The company claims this allows it to predict and target potential customers that aren’t already on a brand’s targeting radar.

Email startup secures US$500,000 seed funding

Sendy, a blockchain-based email startup, announced a successful US$500,000 seed round featuring Australasian digital asset funds, Techemy Capital and Apollo Capital.

Sendy aims to solve an ever-growing problem for email marketers: Getting customers to engage with their email marketing campaigns.

In order to improve engagement, Sendy is building an open API that enables marketers on any email platform to improve engagement rates by attaching a reward pool of digital tokens with their email campaigns. By simply engaging with these emails, users can claim their stake and be rewarded in Sendy’s token for their attention.

To minimise any friction in adopting digital currency within their network, users on Sendy are able to receive tokens with no effort on their behalf. After accumulating tokens, they will be able to use their tokens within the Sendy ecosystem to access loyalty programs with marketers, exchange them for other virtual currencies or even donate them to charitable causes.

Sendy is raising a total of US$19 million through an initial coin offering and is currently in the pre-sale phase for funds and private investors. A public crowdsale is slated to take place later this year.

Cheetah Digital acquires Stellar Loyalty

Cheetah Digital has acquired Stellar Loyalty, a provider of cloud-based customer engagement and loyalty software.

The Stellar Loyalty Consumer Relationship Cloud aims to help brands drive engagement frequency, maximise revenue, and build more meaningful and profitable customer relationships. The platform's first-party data structure combines batch and streaming capabilities to ingest demographic, behavioural, transactional and contextual data to create a predictive set of consumer engagement opportunities.

Together, Cheetah Digital and Stellar Loyalty hope to redefine customer engagement and loyalty for B2C marketers, enabling them to create more relevant consumer experiences that drive greater revenue for their brands. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Qlik acquires Podium Data

Also on the acquisition trail this week is Qlik , which picked up Podium Data for an undisclosed sum. This acquisition aims to expand Qlik’s mission of moving beyond analytics to being a provider of solutions that democratise data for every user to create a more data literate world.

Qlik’s multi-cloud capabilities and upcoming Associative Big Data Index are designed to help customers tap into all their data, explore massive data volumes in any direction and discover new insights. With Podium Data, Qlik said will provide customers with an expanding enterprise data management solution to transform their raw data into a governed, analytics-aware information resource.

Together, Podium Data and Qlik sid they hope to help break down bottlenecks and silos inherent in disparate enterprise data environments, and expand the value of data throughout the enterprise.

Sizmek unveils new DSP

Sizmek has completely overhauled its demand-side platform (DSP) in a bid to present an evolved user experience.

The latest adtech offering provides clients with new screens and workflows for added transparency, control, and efficiency when managing budgets and programmatic spend. These enhancements aim to give agencies greater insight into their advertising campaigns, enabling them to identify and optimise media strategies, gain a clearer picture on what's working, what's not, and then best take action in real-time. The new DSP is powered by Sizmek's AI, which provides an intuitive recommendation and optimisation engine designed to lift the performance of media.

Sizmek said buyers retain full control over campaign execution and when to use AI. The DSP designs data for discovery and provides transparency into key learnings with data-visualisation reports.

Twilio integrates with Google Cloud Contact Centre AI

Twilio has joined forces with Google Cloud to integrate Contact Center AI into Twilio Flex.

By deepening its artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, Twilio aims to provide developers with a robust, flexible platform to build intelligent, next-generation customer experiences.

Google Cloud Contact Center AI is a solution that allows enterprises to deploy AI in their contact centres. The solution is made up of three products: Virtual Agent, Agent Assist and Analytics.

Through integration with Google Cloud Contact Center AI, Twilio Flex customers can now use a virtual agent that can resolve a variety of customer issues and, if required, transfer customers to a live agent who will receive suggested responses based on previous interactions.

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