CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 11 March 2021

All the latest martech, customer and adtech news from OpenX, Nextech AR, Quantcast, WP Engine, Vungle, Hopin, Emotive and smrtr

Emotive raises US$50 million

Emotive, the first conversational text message platform for ecommerce brands, has closed a Series B funding round of US$50 million led by CRV.

The latest cash injection bring the company’s valuation to US$400 million. Emotive plans to use the capital to accelerate invest in its platform and launch new products.

Founded just over two years ago, Emotive positions itself as the first human-to-human marketing platform that uses conversational text messaging to help ecommerce brands grow revenue. Its platform uses a combination of AI automation and human assistance to scale texts that replicate human interaction. Ecommerce brands use Emotive’s text conversations to prevent cart abandonment, promote sales and new product releases, offer interactive text quizzes, and scale product recommendations.

Quantcast unveils new intelligent audience platform

Quantcast, a global advertising technology outfit specialising in audience intelligence, measurement and consent management solutions, has launched the new Quantcast Platform globally and in Australia.

The Quantcast Platform operates on a real-time data set of more than 100 million plus online destinations to deliver audience insights, advertising performance and results at scale. This can also be augmented with a customer’s first-party data sets.

It interprets live data through its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning engine, Ara, which uses predictive models to query a trillion data points then automatically adjust thousands of parameters to drive the best outcome for every ad. Quantcast said consumer privacy and consent are also built-in to ensure businesses meet privacy-first world expectations.

“We are bringing together our technology leadership in measurement and insights, programmatic advertising, privacy and consent management into a single unified, easy-to-use platform to serve the needs of our customers around the world, and to benefit the open Internet,” Quantcast co-founder and CEO, Konrad Feldman, said.

OpenX and LiveRamp expand partnership

OpenX and LiveRamp have expanded their US partnership into Australia, providing local marketers with an improved way to reach audience segments on LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure.

As part of the integration, marketers will be able to increase their addressable reach and engage with their audiences across thousands of publishers’ inventory including Web, in-app, and connected TV (CTV) through the OpenX exchange.

The OpenX integration provides multiple ways for marketers to activate addressable, people-based campaigns with LiveRamp. Marketers may buy directly from demand-side platforms (DSPs) that have also integrated with LiveRamp Authenticated Identity Infrastructure, such as MediaMath or The Trade Desk, or work with their DSP of choice via an OpenX Deal ID.

Nextech AR launches AR Ad Network

Nextech AR Solutions, which specialises in virtual and augmented reality (AR) experience technologies and services for ecommerce, education, advertising, conferences and events, has launched its AR Ad Network.

The Ad Network enhances Nextech’s analytics capabilities to gather big data of online and offline attendees behaviour. By serving up highly customised and relevant ads that are non-intrusive and feel organic to the virtual events, a company can easily track and measure purchase data, demonstrating the full impact of these advertising programs, the vendor said. The most valuable and highest-performing set of impressions can be found at virtual and hybrid events attended by individuals from targeted industry, trade and business segments.

WP Engine releases Atlas

WordPress technology company, WP Engine, has taken the wrappers off Atlas, its new headless WordPress product line.

WP Engine’s Atlas is being pitched as a complete headless WordPress platform, enabling faster, dynamic sites with the flexibility and security that comes with headless solutions. Atlas brings together the customer’s choice of modern development framework with powerful front-end node.js hosting and headless WordPress in one package.

Vungle to acquire GameRefinery

Vungle, a mobile performance ad platform, is acquiring GameRefinery, a SaaS mobile gaming analytics company.

GameRefinery’s Game Intelligence platform provides developers with retention and monetisation insights through its cloud-based developer tools for world-class studios such as Zynga, King, Rovio, Ubisoft and more.
The company’s deep contextual data sets across 160,000+ gaming apps bring unique targeting capabilities to Vungle’s platform, helping advertisers deliver contextually relevant campaigns and increase user acquisition performance in today’s privacy-focused, post-IDFA landscape.

GameRefinery brings image recognition and creative tagging capabilities that will be leveraged by Vungle Creative Labs (VCL). Combining VCL’s extensive experience in cutting-edge creative and UA, with granular reporting on visual elements including styles and genre fit, will create enhanced performance recommendations for advertisers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hopin raises US$400 million

Virtual event platform, Hopin, has raised US$400 million in Series C funding, co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst, and existing investor IVP, with participation from Coatue, DFJ Growth, Northzone, Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global.

The funding follows Hopin’s US$125 million Series B funding announced in November 2020. Since then, Hopin has added 30,000 customers including Poshmark, American Express, Hewlett Packard, The Financial Times and YMCA.

Hopin will use this capital to accelerate growth, including scaling its operations, team and platform, to meet the demands of its expanding customer base and support its multi-product business. Hopin’s technology is already being used to power the digital component of hybrid experiences in events across Europe and will soon power new hybrid meeting solutions across the Marriott portfolio of hotels in the United States and Canada.

Stockland invests $2.5 million in data and analytics

Data and analytics company smrtr, has received a $2.5 million investment from Stockland.

The investment will contribute to the delivery of smrtr’s new and transparent approach to data-as-a-service (DaaS), giving businesses a smarter way to commercialise data and ultimately make better decisions.

The investment will help support smrtr’s vision to create the world’s most effective and secure data and analytics company, expanding smrtr’s data commercialisation offerings and increasing its pool of data assets. smrtr differentiates itself through its high-quality data sets, connecting multiple data sources to create a multidimensional view of people and markets.

The smrtr data universe utilises high volumes of real transactional data, rather than exclusively ‘intent to purchase’ survey or Web activity data, which its says gives clients improved insights on consumer behaviours.

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