CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 18 October 2018

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Twilio, SendGrid, Liferay, Adobe, Taboola, SugarCRM, LivePerson, Intercom, Pipedrive and Talend.

Twilio to acquire SendGrid

Twilio and SendGrid have entered into a definitive agreement for Twilio to acquire SendGrid in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately US$2 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Adding the email API platform to the cloud communications platform aims to drive value to the combined customer bases. The resulting company would offer developers a single platform to manage all communication channels, voice, messaging, video, and now email as well. 

Together, the companies currently drive more than half a trillion customer interactions annualised, and growing rapidly. The boards of directors of Twilio and SendGrid have each approved the transaction.

“Increasingly, our customers are asking us to solve all of their strategic communications challenges - regardless of channel. Email is a vital communications channel for companies around the world, and so it was important to us to include this capability in our platform," said Twilio co-founder and chief executive officer, Jeff Lawson.

"The two companies share the same vision, the same model, and the same values. We believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together the two leading developer-focused communications platforms to create the unquestioned platform of choice for all companies looking to transform their customer engagement.”

Digivizer launches new digital campaign performance platform 

Digivizer has launched its digital analytics technology, previously available only as enterprise implementations, as a SaaS solution for organisations of any size. 

The new product allows anyone responsible for digital marketing to track their digital investments across multiple social and search channels. 

Now, any organisation can know the performance and ROI of their digital marketing campaigns, see a summary of performance of their owned social accounts, their earned media and their paid advertising, across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Ads, all in real-time in a single view.

Adobe offers advancements to Magento Commerce Cloud 

Adobe has integrated Magento Commerce Cloud into Adobe Experience Cloud, enabling enterprise companies to create engaging, personalised shopping experiences. 

Integration with Adobe Experience Cloud’s content management, personalisation and analytics solutions provides an offering for enterprises looking to deliver commerce experiences. The company also unveiled a major update of the Magento platform to empower small and mid-market merchants to extend the lead in commerce innovation and agility. 

The first integrations between Adobe’s content management, personalisation and analytics solutions in Adobe Experience Cloud and Magento Commerce Cloud are now available and will empower enterprises to: Create highly engaging shopping experiences, personalise every experience, and anticipate customer needs. 

Adobe acquired Magento to ramp up its ecommerce platform capabilities in May in a deal worth US$1.68 billion.

Liferay introduces Liferay DXP Cloud 

Liferay has released Liferay DXP Cloud, an enterprise solution that aims to simplify the deployment, management and scaling of Liferay DXP with Platform-as-a-service capabilities. 

Liferay DXP Cloud aims to bring the benefits of Liferay DXP to the cloud, lessening the need for IT to maintain and manage their own infrastructures, so they can focus on delivering new services for the business. 

“We developed Liferay DXP Cloud because we realised there was a need among enterprise customers to make cloud deployments easier, speed up the development process and deliver business solutions faster,” said Liferay engineering director, Eduardo Lundgren. “Liferay DXP Cloud is a complete platform to enable innovation, simplify infrastructure and ensure faster time-to-market.” 

Key features include autoscaling, governance, high availability, monitoring, application management, backup and recovery, and security.

Knorex and Taboola form partnership

Taboola has struck a strategic partnership with Knorex to provide agencies and brands access to Taboola’s global audience on premium publishers. 

Advertisers using Knorex will have access to Taboola’s audience of 1.4 billion users as well as direct access to third-party data providers to drive better campaign performance. 

“By partnering with Taboola, advertisers using Knorex now have access to audiences on premium publishers,” said Knorex head of revenue, Subramania Bhatt. 

Taboola analyses hundreds of real-time signals, including location, device type, referral source, social media trends and more, to match users with content they are most likely to be interested in consuming next. 

The partnership with Knorex comes on the heels of Taboola’s recent growth throughout APAC, bolstered by partnerships with Wider Planet in South Korea and various programmatic partners in Australia. 

Pipedrive secures additional US$10 million

Pipedrive closed an additional US$10 million Series C investment from new investor, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP). 

DTCP will further strengthen Pipedrive’s capability to expand its sales and pipeline management solution within valuable markets, such as Germany. 

The investment brings Pipedrive’s now completed Series C round to a total US$60 million, including funding from new investor, Insight Venture Partners, and existing investors, Bessemer Venture Partners, Atomico and Rembrandt Venture Partners. 

This round brings Pipedrive's total venture capital funding to date to $90 million. 

SugarCRM launches new CRM edition

SugarCRM has improved its core CRM application as well as added to its relationship intelligence service, Hint. 

New features in Sugar Fall 18 include improved quotes configuration, clearer data visualisation with new chart types, and improved advanced workflows with tools to better alert and notify more stakeholders along key steps in the customer journey. 

"Sugar Fall 18 represents another step in our ongoing commitment to delivering a simple, intuitive customer experience, and the new product functionality that enhances usability and utility of the core Sugar app will allow us to inform and guide our customers with even clearer insights," said SugarCRM chief product officer and chief technology officer, Rich Green. 

The new features in Sugar's Hint product focus on pushing relevant data to users via multiple channels, enabling better decision-making, and driving enhanced customer insights. 

Intercom launches AI-powered chatbot 

Intercom has launched Answer Bot, a bot that uses machine learning to help businesses scale support and grow by automatically answering customers’ most frequently asked questions. 

Answer Bot lets businesses tap into AI and see value from bots by combining a machine learning engine with an easy-to-use curation tool. Answer Bot doesn’t require humans to become bot-building experts, and instead offers nice-to-use software that makes it easier than ever to implement and actually get value from bots. 

Answer Bot leverages Intercom conversation data and natural language processing to identify and group the kinds of common questions most easily answered by the bot. 

It uses machine learning to instantly provide the answers customers need, speeding up response time, scaling customer support, and improving the customer experience overall. 

LivePerson and AdLingo integrate

LivePerson has inked an integration with newly launched AdLingo, a conversational marketing platform built within Area 120, Google's incubator for experimental projects. 

AdLingo's Conversational Display Ads are pitched as a new way for brands to connect with consumers digitally as they are browsing content across the display network. Through the new integration, brands can have two-way conversations with consumers who click on the ads. 

The LiveEngage platform enables brands to connect to AdLingo and popular messaging services and voice assistants, along with a brand's own apps, website and phone systems. 

LiveEngage brings together the AI and automations necessary to operate the experience at scale, along with the backend integrations to offer capabilities such as payments and reservation changes. A workspace for customer care and sales agents is provided to monitor and support the experience.

Talend Fall ’18 aims to deliver insight-ready data at scale 

Talend announced an update to Talend Data Fabric, the company’s unified data platform for data integration across complex, multi-cloud and on-premises environments. 

Talend’s Fall 2018 release delivers insight-ready data at scale with new features including Data Catalog which creates a single source of trusted data, and Cloud Application Programming Interface (API) Services, which speeds access to standardised data for building data-as-a-service applications and increasing productivity.  

Talend’s new release also accelerates running machine learning algorithms at scale with extended serverless big data support.

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