CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 7 February 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Taptica, Switch Media, Twilio, Optimizely, Lotame, Flamingo Ai, Google, Salesforce, Pipeliner, Pegasystems, and more.

Taptica acquires RhythmOne for US$176 million

Advertising technology company, Taptica, has acquired RhythmOne for US$176 million in an all-stock deal, pending shareholder approval.

RhythmOne provides cross-screen solutions focused on connected TV (CTV). The combination of RhythmOne and Tremor Video DSP, which Taptica acquired in August 2017, aims to create one of the leading independent video advertising companies in the US.

RhythmOne offers programmatic video capabilities based on an advanced media offering with an emphasis on CTV, enabled by RhythmMax. The companies said the alignment in business models with Tremor Video DSP will provide immediate scale, and the addition of RhythmOne’s audience data and analytics capabilities will create a full stack solution for advertisers.

Additionally, RhythmOne’s acquisition of YuMe, which created one of the largest independent digital video advertising marketplaces, brings relationships with large scale tier one advertisers, access to premium inventory and provides extended reach into CTV. YuMe and Tremor Video DSP will work together with strong cross-selling opportunities - further diversifying existing revenue streams.

The deal is intended to come into effect with the closing of the deal in early April, after which RhythmOne will cease to be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Twilio completes acquisition of SendGrid

Cloud communications platform, Twilio, meanwhile, has successfully completion its previously announced acquisition of SendGrid, an email API platform.

This follows approval by the stockholders of both companies at separate meetings in January. The transaction is valued at approximately US$3 billion. SendGrid stockholders received approximately US$53.99 of aggregate value per share of SendGrid common stock. As a result of the acquisition, shares of common stock of SendGrid ceased trading and will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

“Effective customer engagement is a strategic imperative for every company.  With SendGrid now a part of Twilio, our goal is to provide a complete platform for every form of customer engagement,” said Twilio co-founder and CEO, Jeff Lawson. “Through our mutual developer-first approach, we empower the builders of the world to create magical customer experiences unique to every interaction.”

SendGrid will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Twilio and will continue to be led by SendGrid CEO, Sameer Dholakia, reporting to Lawson.

Optimizely and Lotame team up

Optimizely has teamed up with Lotame to launch a new audience integration for Optimizely Web, aiming to enable customers to scale personalisation programs by targeting Lotame DMP audiences with Optimizely Web campaigns.

Many Optimizely customers have leveraged audiences defined in Lotame to optimise onsite experiences. However, synchronising audiences between the two platforms required manual coding and expensive ongoing maintenance. This friction made scaling personalisation difficult and error-prone.

The official integration is fully configured via the Optimizely Integrations dashboard and gives users access to a dynamically updating list of Lotame audiences directly in the Optimizely Audience Builder.

Flamingo Ai quarterly update

ASX-listed artificial intelligence (AI) technology player, Flamingo Ai, has announced a quarterly update following its trading halt mid-last year.

For Q2FY19, sales and cash receipts were lower than expected, and the financial goals the business set at the beginning of the calendar year were not met.

The company concluded a product-market fit assessment of its existing products, and as a result the focus of initial engagements with enterprise clients shifted from ROSIE, the virtual sales assistant, to newer machine learning based products such as, LIBBY, the business analytics or self-organising library product, and MAGGIE, the virtual knowledge assistant.

MAGGIE, like ROSIE, operates under a traditional software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, with a monthly subscription, and potential additional usage, revenue share or cost efficiency share variables. LIBBY can also operate under the SaaS model, or could be a single or series of distinct business intelligence projects that guide client strategy on future MAGGIE or ROSIE deployments.

The company closed the quarter with qualified discussions at senior level with multiple major organisations in the US and Australia, and submitted proposals are up by 100 per cent compared to the end of Q1FY19. Some are with existing customers, however, the majority are new customer opportunities. Flamingo said it has also now expanded its market focus from insurance into other financial sectors such as banking, investment and superannuation.

Switch Media secures Mediasmiths

Also securing an acquisition this week is online video technology company, Switch Media, which purchased Swedish-based media systems integration consultancy, Mediasmiths, as part of its growth plans for the European market.

The merger will deliver solutions from consultation through to delivery and ongoing services for broadcasters and content owners throughout Europe.

The addition of Europe to Switch Media’s global footprint now sees the company in seven markets including Australia, New Zealand, India, United States, Africa, and Asia.

Mediasmiths AB expertise in media workflows, integrating broadcast systems, bespoke software development and its advancement in using artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver media services.

Google Analytics audiences to become available on Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Google has confirmed Google Analytics audiences will officially become available in February on Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The audience push from Analytics into Salesforce aims to enable advertisers to deliver communications on these audiences via email, phone, push notifications, and SMS.

Google Analytics has 250 site engagement dimensions and metrics, and those parameters are available for audience creation. The integration was first unveiled in November 2017.

Google said that in addition to share Analytics 360 audiences to Marketing Cloud, marketers already have access to campaign reporting. Marketers can see campaign metrics like conversion rate and site engagement metrics like time spent on site related to Marketing Cloud campaigns.

Artificial Intelligence functionality for Mobile CRM launched

Pipeliner has released what it has labelled the first ever AI functionality for Mobile CRM.

Powered by Pipeliner's Voyager AI engine, the Pipeliner CRM Mobile App aims to provide instant intelligent updates, guidance and suggestions to the user helping them to stay on top of their sales while on the go.

Key features of Voyager AI on Pipeliner CRM Mobile include being able to instantly compare performance over a chosen period of time in terms of productivity, velocity, winning percentage, and efficiency, for leads, opportunities, account, and contacts. These metrics can be viewed at the individual or team level. In addition, there is a User Comparison Arena where individuals can be compared against each other.

"There has been much talk about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on sales and now with the release of Pipeliner's Voyager AI on the our Mobile CRM App we are leading the way with bringing it to life to help salespeople and sales management be more efficient on their mobile devices," said founder and CEO of Pipelinersales, Nikolaus Kimla.

"No other CRM vendor has artificial intelligence on their mobile app and indeed no other vendor has a mobile app that is as advanced, visual, useful and efficient as Pipeliner CRM Mobile. We are proud to be leading the market in mobile CRM as well as real, tangible and impactful AI for sales."

Voyager AI is now available as part of the Pipeliner CRM Mobile App for both IOS and Android and works in conjunction with Pipeliner CRM Cloud.

Pegasystems acquires Infruid Labs’ assets

Pegasystems has made an asset purchase of Infruid Labs, a business analytics and data visualisation software company.

The acquisition aims to bring a consumer-grade user interface and enterprise-class capabilities to Pega solutions to enable users to visualise and better understand their Pega application data to improve decision making.

By integrating Infruid Labs’ interactive visualisation capabilities with its AI-powered customer engagement and digital process automation (DPA) solutions, Pega will aims to provide clients with a holistic, streamlined way to visually interpret their data. This will enable users to uncover hidden patterns to make better business decisions.

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