CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 25 March 2021

All the latest martech, customer and adtech news from Optimizely, Crownpeak, Criteria, Xandr, Contents, Act-On Software and Swell

Optimizely acquires customer data platform Zaius

Digital experience platform, Optimizely (formerly Episerver), has acquired Zaius, a customer data platform (CDP), bringing the context of the customer to the experience creation and optimisation process of digital experiences. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With the addition of Zaius, Optimizely aims to seamlessly harmonise digital data in one platform. Zaius adds 50 pre-built connector apps, including Shopify, Snowflake and Zendesk, to Optimizely’s digital experience platform (DXP), powering the ability to create a unified view of customers faster via one-click integrations and automated identity resolution with consent management.

Zaius’s segmentation engine coupled, with Optimizely’s behavioural data (from experiments) and transactional insights (from its content and commerce platform) provides a new level of insight aided by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)-driven predictions out of the box. Zaius includes more than 125 pre-configured orchestration recipes for optimal action immediately based on the full context of digital performance now visible across the entire process from creation to optimisation.

“With Zaius as part of Optimizely’s Digital Experience Platform, we just accelerated and made it simpler to add the context of the customer to digital decisions that maximize ROI," said Optimizely CEO, Alex Atzberger. "We couldn’t be more excited for the Zaius team to become Optimizers and join in on our mission to unlock digital potential.”

Crownpeak to acquire e-Spirit

In another acquisition move, Crownpeak will acquire digital experience platform provider, e-Spirit, for an undisclosed sum.

Headquartered in Germany, e-Spirit enables businesses to rapidly deliver personalised, content-rich experiences across online channels. The acquisition brings together Crownpeak’s SaaS-based Web content management system CMS and other which wrap digital quality, governance and privacy into experience delivery with e-Spirit’s differentiators, including content-driven commerce experiences and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered personalisation.

Hopin purchases two video services providers

Virtual event platform provider, Hopin, has acquired two video companies as part of efforts to extend the capabilities of its current offering and grow its future video feature set.  

The company has acquired video hosting provider, Streamable, as well as video technology company, Jamm, under terms not disclosed. Streamable has been around since 2014 and currently manages 75,000 new video uploads per day for more than 5000 customers globally. As part of the deal, Streamable’s founder, Armen Petrosian, joins Hopin to continue to lead the business as well as help build new products.  

Jamm was founded in 2019 with a focus on helping users to collaborate over video. Its founder, Badri Rajasekar, is also joining Hopin as part of the deal and is expected to play a key role developing new features and products.  

“As the world reopens, high-quality virtual experiences will continue to be critical. Video will be the primary communication channel for businesses, creators and organisations to share experiences virtually, so these acquisitions are a natural next step,” said Hopin founder and CEO, Johnny Boufarhat. “The technology and resources from Jamm and Streamable will become foundational components to future products and the entire Hopin video experience - from production and video quality to how our customers can collaborate and distribute content.”

The acquisitions have been made possible because of significant investment into Hopin, including a recent US$400 million Series C funding round in February. The company has raised $570m to date.

The latest purchases are also the third and fourth in a recent splurge which has also seen Hopin acquire mobile app development company, Topi, as well as video stream company, StreamYard.  

Criteria acquires Alcami

In local acquisition news, Criteria has acquired Australian-based Alcami Interactive, an on-demand video interviewing platform.

With this move, Criteria will offer its 4000+ customers Alcami’s video interviewing service through its platform. Alcami will also offer Criteria’s portfolio of assessments to its APAC customers. Alcami has a unique technology which drives customer and candidate user experience, advanced functionality around diversity and inclusion, and the ability to cater for both pre-recorded and live structured video interviews.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Xandr launches Xandr Curate

Xandr, AT&T’s advertising company, has launched Xandr Curate, a platform offering data-layered curated deals across multi-seller inventory in Xandr’s marketplace.

Xandr Curate enables data owners – publishers, retailers, data providers – to leverage their exclusive assets and generate additional revenue by reaching programmatic media buyers. The platform allows customers to create deal-based media products that layer their proprietary data with inventory from sellers on the Xandr Monetize SSP, one of the largest omnichannel, multiformat, global supply exchanges. The exchange-level deal IDs are tradeable through any DSP on the market.

Contents raises US$6 million

In the first of the funding news this week, Contents, which uses AI to analyse data and create native-level multilingual content for users and search engines, has raised US$6 million to continue developing its content creation tools.

The Contents.com platform provides solutions, for content creation and distribution, from trend analysis to automatic text generation through AI and natural language generation (NLG). The technology allows for the automatic generation of content without human intervention and the proprietary algorithm is integrated into a single environment that guarantees the rapid and intuitive use of tools available thanks to its easy-to-use interface.

Act-On Software completes US$20 million funding round

Act-On Software, the growth marketing automation platform, has announced a US$20 million funding round, which puts the company at US$82 million total raised to date.

Act-On will use this financing to invest in its partner ecosystem through a cadre of new integrations and strategic relationships with solution providers and channel partners. Additionally, the funding, which is comprised of equity and debt, will drive customer and revenue growth through product innovations and expansion of the company’s go-to-market activities.

Swell secures US$8 million

Swell, a vendor offering a customer engagement platform for local businesses, announced a Series A funding round of US$8 million.

The round was led by SkyLab Ventures, with support from Teamworthy and Swell's current investors, including Cultivation Capital. It follows Swell's triple-digit year-over-year growth and the release of the latest version of its customer engagement platform.

Swell is an engagement platform which helps location-based businesses engage with and acquire new customers by getting discovered in local searches, collecting customer feedback and improving the way businesses communicate with customers.

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