CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 10 September 2020

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Profitero, dunnhumby, Taboola, Outbrain, Episerver, RTB House, Sarbacane, Salesforce and RichRelevance

Taboola, Outbrain call merger off

Outbrain and Taboola have officially called off their proposed US$850 million merger after nearly a year of work to close the deal.

According to reports in several global media outlets including TechCrunch and AdExchanger, the deal has been called off due to a combination of changing market and industry circumstances, funding woes and regulatory hurdles. One such contributing factor is reportedly Taboola’s decision to change its commitment to publishers in June, stopping guarantees and changing to a shared revenue model.

Taboola also reportedly has failed to secure additional financing, which had been a condition of the merger deal.

A merger between the two content discovery and optimisation platforms had been rumoured for years, but only became official in October last year, with Taboola the proposed sole brand name long-term. Together, the two companies were expected to be worth US$2 billion, with the deal estimated to be worth $850 million. Taboola claims to reach 1.4 billion consumers globally per month, while Outbrain claims to reach 1.3 billion people worldwide. Both companies were founded in Israel but headquartered in the US.

Profitero announces open ecosystem for marketing performance

Profitero, the enterprise eCommerce SaaS analytics platform, has developed a new ‘open ecosystem’ connecting retail digital shelf analytics, media agencies and ad tech platforms for optimised marketing performance.

The ecosystem eliminates long-standing silos between eCommerce sales and marketing teams through integrations that allow ad agencies and ad tech platforms to adjust and optimise eCommerce advertising campaigns and content based on out-of-stock, search traffic, conversion rates and other product analytics collected daily from retailer websites around the world.

Episerver to acquire Optimizely

Digital experience platforms, Episerver, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Optimizely, a specialist in experimentation and optimisation. Bringing together Episerver's ability to create digital experiences through content and commerce with Optimizely's ability to experiment and optimise across touchpoints enables marketers to build intelligent experiences. 

The combined entity will enable better experiments across both front-end layouts and back-end logic, with easy-to-use tailored recommendations; increased ability to gain real-time answers to accelerate collaboration and create more responsive customer experiences; and the ability to measure different outcomes at scale to drive customer engagement and brand differentiation.

Read our full story on the acquisition and what it means for marketers here.

RTB House launches new AI-based streaming video ads

Marketing technologies outfit, RTB House, has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) and first-party data tool to create streaming video ads, a new solution aimed at targeting users in the upper stages of the sales funnel.

These brand-focused and dynamically-created video ads will offer users a viewing experience based on data-driven personalisation enhanced with unique contextual elements and highly personalised storytelling.

Sarbacane raises US$27 million for marketing tools

Email and text marketing platform, Mailify, through its parent company Sarbacane, has raised US$27 million in funding, led by French investment firm IDI.

The latest cash injection also includes a US$10 million stake and founder Mathieu Tarnus, and brings the company’s valuation to approximately US$45 million after this funding. Mailify will continue developing its AI-based marketing automation and its international expansion plans. It’s product portfolio includes Layout for email design, chatbot Sarbacane Chat and multichannel marketing platform Touchdown.

Salesforce to acquire Mobify

Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Mobify in an extension of its multi-year partnership.

Mobify said it will provide Salesforce Commerce Cloud with a modern storefront solution that will allow brands to customise their commerce experiences faster and more frequently, deliver an enhanced shopping experience across any channel, and further increase conversion and revenue to drive success in the digital-first economy.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Mobify's customer base includes Under Armour and Shiseido. The vendor provides a progressive Web app experience and the infrastructure to host, scale and secure digital storefronts in a headless environment.

dunnhumby launches Model Lab tool

dunnhumby, which specialises in customer data science, has launched its new web-based application on Microsoft Azure, enabling data scientists to deliver customer insights faster, driving profitability and customer loyalty.

dunnhumby Model Lab automates repetitive, time-consuming tasks, uses machine-learning technology and is hosted in Azure to achieve high performance, reduce run time and allow data scientists to quickly explore many algorithms. Model Lab is designed to solve complex retail challenges, such as understanding customer churn and predicting propensity to purchase and in what channel, such as instore or online. The tool helps retailers and brands build loyalty and profitability by focusing on the shopper experience.

RichRelevance launches Deep Recommendations personalisation tool

RichRelevance, which specialises in experience personalisation, has launched a new ‘Deep Recommendations’, a new set of advanced personalisation technologies that does not need historical events and behavioural data to immediately generate relevant product recommendations.

Deep Recommendations removes constraints associated with traditional recommendations which don’t work for retailers and brands with sparse data – seasonal products, fast changing catalogues and long tail products, and it helps product discovery by catching user’s preferences through a product’s visual features and textual description.

With Deep Recommendations, retailers and brands that regularly introduce new products can expose shoppers to these new products instantly. In addition, categories such as fashion and home furnishings where shoppers look for ‘visually similar’ or ‘visually complementary’ products can break through the clutter with highly relevant and high conversion visual AI based recommendations.

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