CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 9 August 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Salesforce, Criteo, Freshworks, Zendesk, Twilio, GrowthOps, HubSpot, Tableau, Glow, Genesys and Intercom

Salesforce warns of data leak caused by API error

Salesforce has warned customers of data leak caused by API error, which may have had an impact on enterprise customers using Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

According to a Salesforce report, the vendor became aware of an issue on 18 July affecting a subset of Marketing Cloud customers that have signed up for Marketing Cloud Email Studio and Predictive Intelligence.

Allegedly, a Marketing Cloud update released between 4 June and 7 July introduced a code change which may have caused a small subset of REST API calls to improperly retrieve or write data from one customer's account to another. The issue has since been fixed.

Freshworks secures $100 million investment

Freshworks has secured US$100 million in financing, bringing total capital raised in the business to date to $250 million. 

The latest round of funding was co-led by Accel and Sequoia, with participation from CapitalG. The cash infusion will be used to further Freshworks’ worldwide expansion as well as continued investment in its integrated SaaS platform.

Since its last funding round, Freshworks has made several technology acquisitions to bolster its product offerings. Several of these technologies were featured in its recently announced cloud bundle, Freshworks 360. The company undertook a rebrand from 'Freshdesk' to Freshworks last year in order to reflect its growing suite of offerings.

The business software vendor now claims a user base of more than 150,000 businesses and organisations worldwide, including larger enterprises such as Honda, Bridgestone, Hugo Boss, and Cisco.

Freshworks has also hired former AppDynamics vice-president of finance and treasury, Suresh Seshadri, as its chief financial officer.

Criteo reports Q2 results, acquires Storetail

Criteo has released its latest financial results and announced the acquisition of retail media technology platform, Storetail.

The adtech player reported a 1 per cent decrease in revenue to US$537 million during the second quarter ended 30 June 2018. Revenue decreased one per cent to $537 million. Revenue excluding Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC) grew 5 per cent to $230 million, or 42.9 per cent of revenue, while net income increased 96 per cent to $15 million.

Criteo expects revenue excluding TAC for fiscal year 2018 to grow between -1 per cent and +1 per cent at constant currency.

Criteo has also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Storetail, a retail media technology platform enabling retailers to monetise native placements on their ecommerce sites. According to Criteo's financial report, the latest acquisiton complements its purchase of Hooklogic in 2016 and its Sponsored Products solution, which allow the vendor partner with retailers extensively on onsite monetisation. The purchase price was not disclosed, and the deal is expected to close in Q3..

"While having no material revenue contribution at closing, the addition of Storetail's highly complementary technology is an important building block to enable Criteo to offer a full monetisation platform to retailers," the company stated. 

GrowthOps acquires Asia Pacific Digital

GrowthOps has also been on the acquisitions trail, purchasing a relevant interest in 96.72 per cent of fully paid ordinary shares of Asia Pacific Digital. 

GrowthOps will proceed to compulsorily acquire all remaining shares of Asia Pacific Digital not acquired under the Offer, confirmed as at the close of its off market takeover bid on 7 August 2018.

GrowthOps said the acquisition will provide benefits both for clients and shareholders, including an expanded service offering, deeper footprint in the Asia-Pacific region, and increased scale that will allow it to compete with larger global service providers. The company also expects efficiencies from the removal of APD company listing costs as well as other run-rate cost synergies resulting from the integration of the two businesses.

APD brings to GrowthOps a non-overlapping and complementary set of services as well as a higher profile across Asia. Compulsory acquisition notices and related correspondence will be dispatched to all APD shareholders who have not accepted the offer.

HubSpot debuts Conversations

HubSpot has launched Conversations, available as part of HubSpot’s free CRM, which aims to give business the power to build better one-on-one relationships through features including a unified inbox, live chat, and chatbots.

Conversations aims to provide users with unlimited chats, unlimited users and chatbot functionality, making it more accessible to the average customer. Key features of the tool include: a collaborative inbox built for all sources and all teams, chatbots to automate the delivery of information and facilitate more high-quality conversations, and targeting and lead routing.

Conversations is a core feature of HubSpot CRM and available across all of HubSpot’s product offerings – Marketing Hub, Sales Hub and Service Hub.

Zendesk, Twilio integrate with WhatsApp

Zendesk has integrated its customer service management platform with WhatsApp in an effort to help businesses manage customer service interactions and engage with customers directly on WhatsApp. 

The integration connects conversations between businesses and their customers on WhatsApp within thr Zendesk dashboard. By extending customer support capabilities to WhatsApp, businesses that use Zendesk can now reach WhatsApp’s users to provide proactive support. Customers can opt-in to receive updates and notifications such as purchase receipts, shipping changes, or flight times directly in WhatsApp.

Also on the WhatsApp front this week, Twilio has released Twilio API for WhatsApp, which aims to allow businesses to message their customers via the messaging platform for the first time.

Twilio claims to remove the operational overhead of managing and scaling WhatsApp for developers, making it one of the fastest, most reliable and most scalable way for businesses to start communicating with users through the latter platform. The API enables developers to now integrate messaging between Twilio via SMS, MMS, RCS, Facebook Messenger, LINE, and WhatsApp.

Tableau enables new Extensions API release    

Tableau Software has confirmed general availability of Tableau 2018.2, which introduces a new Extensions API to enable customers to drag and drop third-party functionality directly into a dashboard.

Additionally, Tableau customers can now administer Tableau Server directly in the browser, thanks to the new Tableau Services Manager. Tableau 2018.2 also includes the ability to join data sources based on spatial data, and brand new mobile dashboard formatting tools to improve mobile consumption of analytical content.

Glow signs MoU and partnership agreement with GS1 Australia

Online research and insights platform, Glow, has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GS1 Australia, as well as a separate agreement to become a GS1 Associate Alliance Partner. 

“The MoU signing symbolises a partnership which we believe will lead to many opportunities for GS1 members to leverage Glow’s customer insight ecosystem to grow product lifecycle ROI”, said Glow Australia director, Tim Clover. "We now provide GS1 members with a simple method for importing their product data into the Glow platform."

The ambition with providing access to the Glow platform is to make consumer insights available at an affordable price.

“Our entry into the GS1 Australia Alliance Partner Program as an Associate Alliance Partner signifies our commitment to providing GS1 members with products and services including online surveys which will provide brand owners and manufacturers with direct feedback from consumers about packaging appeal, shopper behaviours, intent to buy and much more,” Clover added.

Genesys integrates with Google Cloud Contact Center AI

Genesys has integrated its offering with Google Cloud’s new Contact Center AI solution in a bid to enable brands to rapidly deploy some of the industry’s smartest bots.

Genesys customers can now use the secure and flexible Google Cloud Contact Center AI to train and use new bots in a fraction of the time. These capabilities are driven by Kate, the Genesys AI platform, which powers the company’s natural language understanding, orchestration, predictive routing, automation, and more to help businesses deliver the sales, marketing and service outcomes they want.

By integrating Kate with the natural language understanding capabilities of the Google Cloud Contact Center AI, the system can detect what consumers are saying as well as glean their intent.

Intercom launches public App Store

Intercom has taken the wrappers off Intercom App Store, aimed at making it easier to build and integrate apps on a messenger platform.

The ambition is to expand and transform the way teams can use messengers to acquire more customers.The App Store launched with more than 100 app partners including Atlassian, Coda, Google, Hubspot, Marketo, Salesforce and Stripe.

For businesses looking to build their own apps, the company has also debuted new developer platform tools and capabilities to build rich, powerful apps on top of Intercom, ready to be used by 30,000+ Intercom customers.

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