CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 17 September 2020

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from Toluna, Segment, AdColony, Qlik, Astute, BrandTotal, Replicant and Sprinklr

Sprinklr raises US$200 million at US$2.7 billion valuation

Customer experience management (CXM) platform, Sprinklr, has seen a significant investment with US$200 million raised at a US$2.7 billion valuation.

As well as the investment injection from Hellman & Friedman, the vendor has secured an additional US$150 million in convertible securities from Sixth Street Growth. The latest investments come four years after Sprinklr raised $105 million in a round led by Temasek Holdings. Since then, the company has been on an acquisitions spree, picking up companies such as Naningans, Little Bird, Postano, newBrandAnalytics and Branderati.

Founded in 2009, Sprinklr’s platform was built from the ground up to provide customer-facing teams with the capabilities they need to serve connected customers, and enable the front office to work together and deliver a unified customer experience.

Segment launches Data Lakes

Customer data platform, Segment, has launched Data Lakes, a new data architecture product built to help companies improve customer experiences using their customer data.

Segment Data Lakes provides companies with the foundation needed to produce advanced analytics, uncover rich customer insights, and power machine learning and AI initiatives.

Segment Data Lakes future-proofs a company’s architecture so its analytics, customer insights, and AI and machine learning initiatives can scale with the needs of the business. Combining the best of data lake architecture and data warehouse architecture, Segment Data Lakes provides companies with a flexible foundation for advanced customer analytics, data science and machine learning.

AdColony A/NZ partners with in-game ad platform Anzu.io

AdColony, the in-app marketplace for brands with a focus on gaming, has signed an exclusive partnership with global in-game advertising platform, Anzu.

AdColony will now offer Anzu’s blended in-game advertising across both display and video to brands and agencies in Australia and New Zealand.

The in-game advertising platform blends real-world brand ads into gameplay across PC, console and mobile games, while offering advertisers comprehensive ad viewability and programmatic capabilities. Additionally, Anzu brings a suite of trusted industry tools, including campaign effectiveness measurement in partnership with Nielsen Connectivity, fraud prevention in partnership with Forensiq, ad verification in partnership with Cheq. 

Qlik expands Insight Advisor

Qlik has announced enhancements to Insight Advisor, its intelligent AI assistant built into Qlik Sense, to deliver the industry’s most robust augmented intelligence capabilities for cloud analytics.

Drawing on Qlik’s Associative Engine, combined with investments in natural language processing (NLP) and cognitive technology, Insight Advisor deepens Qlik’s augmented analytics with AI-driven assistance aimed at adding value to every interaction with data for cloud analytics users. 

Users can interact with Insight Advisor in a variety of different ways, leveraging a complete range of AI-enhanced augmented analytics capabilities native to Qlik Sense. These include search-based visual analysis (NLP-driven), conversational analytics (chat), associative insights to expose hidden data relationships, assistance with creation and data preparation, and advanced analytics calculation and integration.

Astute to acquire Socialbakers

Astute, a customer engagement and voice-of-customer (VoC) platform, has acquired Socialbakers, a unified social media marketing platform.

The company said the acquisition will allow global brands to manage research, content, engagement, social listening and VoC in a single SaaS platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Socialbakers’ AI-powered social media marketing platform enables brands to reach and engage with audiences across social media channels via one unified platform. Astute's AI-driven solutions cover a broad range of applications, including an omnichannel customer engagement platform, VOC and CRM systems, creating an end-to-end solution for interacting across all channels where today’s consumers want to engage with brands, eliminating friction while capturing first-party data to drive insights across the business.

BrandTotal raises US$12 Million in Series B round 

BrandTotal, the brand marketing analytics outfit, has raised US$12 million in its Series B investment round, led by INcapital Ventures.

The latest round includes participation from Maor Investments, Glilot Capital Partners, Flint Capital, KDC Media Fund and FJ Labs. The funding will expand be used to expand BrandTotal's product, data science, sales and marketing efforts in New York as well as internationally. 

BrandTotal aims to help marketing teams understand the full spectrum of social strategy, performance and consumer engagement within a given market category. It can provide insight into dark marketing campaigns across social media, powered by proprietary AI and NLP technology, to give marketers access to competitive spend patterns and advertising volume, among other crucial insights.

Replicant raises US$27 million

In another fund raising announcement, Replicant has raised US$27 million in a Series A round.

The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners and State Farm’s venture arm, with participation from investors Atomic, Bloomberg Beta and Costanoa Ventures, which participated in the US $7 million seed round of the company last year. 

Replicant’s software will work as text-based chatbots and AI assistants for customer service, allowing the bot to talk to humans over the phone in a natural, human-like voice and completely resolve specific customer service queries. A human manages complex issues that cannot be handled by the AI. It uses deep learning algorithms to speak and answer like humans.

Toluna launches Toluna Start

Consumer intelligence platform, Toluna, has launched Toluna Start, an end-to-end platform that brings together product and research professionals to help businesses make data-driven decisions in real-time. 

Toluna Start is the culmination of Toluna’s two decades of market research expertise and integrates Toluna’s panel of 30+ million members, assists clients to conduct real-time insights covering all quantitative, qualitative and data visualisation needs to fully understand the full consumer journey.

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