CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 15 April 2021

All the latest martech, customer and adtech news from LiveRamp, Publicis Groupe and The Trade Desk, Canva, MyAdBox, ID.me, Gupshup, Ziflow and Salesforce

MyAdBox raises in Series A round

The first funding news this week is from local martech outfit, MyAdBox, which has announced a multi-million dollar Series A capital raise.

MyAdbox, an Australian-based brand management SaaS provider, aims to help businesses control their brand and utilise their assets to create, edit and plan a full campaign rollout, with the goal of saving time and money, and getting to market faster with more messages. One of the new investors is Philip Earl, former senior international executive at digital entertainment giant, Activision Blizzard.

The funding will be used to accelerate product development and boost customer acquisition efforts for the software platform.

Specifically, the funding will be used to grow the software development team by 50 per cent, and boost local, regional and global marketing initiatives showcasing the newly enhanced software platform.

“Over the last 12 months, we’ve been in growth and development mode, evolving our software,” said MyAdbox CEO, Andrew Baker. “At the same time, we’ve reimagined our brand position in readiness for the next growth phase. We’re excited to have attracted such a high calibre of investors and about the opportunities that come with new investment. We’re looking forward to continuing to redefine the marketing and advertising industry.”

LiveRamp partners with Google Cloud

Data connectivity platform, LiveRamp, has entered into a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to enable identity in the cloud as an infrastructural upgrade for customers.

Under this partnership, customers can now access LiveRamp’s identity capabilities via API through the Google Cloud Marketplace to build a unified view of the customer inside their data environment. This aim is to enables customer to make data actionable, unlocking new use cases and ensuring they maximise their cloud data investment.

LiveRamp cited a number of benefits to embedding people-based identity into Google Cloud infrastructure, including minimisation of data movement, leveraging unified, organised and more accurate data sets, improving operational efficiencies and privacy by design architecture.

Epsilon and The Trade Desk partner on identity

Also on the identity management front this week is news of Publicis Groupe’s Epsilon and The Trade Desk partnering to make their ID solutions interoperable.

The move to make Epsilon Core ID and Unified ID 2.0 compatible comes as the deadline approaches for Google retiring third-party cookies. The Trade Desk will be the demand-side partner for Epsilon Core ID, enabling Publicis clients to use the Core ID product within The Trade Desk platform across display, video, social, connected TV, native and audio.

Through Epsilon’s partnership with Prebid it has created SharedID, for when personal data is not available for targeting, it will be an additional identifier based on first-party data, similar to Unified ID 2.0 and Core ID.

ID.me raises US$100 million in funding

ID.me, the secure digital identity network, has raised US$100 million in a Series C funding round, led by Viking Global Investors, valuing the company at US$1.5 billion.

The ID.me network has more than 39 million members with over 70,000 new subscribers joining daily, as well as partnerships with US states and federal agencies and over 400 name brand retailers. The company provides identity proofing, authentication and group affiliation verification for organisations across sectors.

ID.me plans to use the new funding to develop its secure digital identity network, expanding the number of businesses and government agencies it serves.

Canva Presentations gets suite of new features

Design platform, Canva, has an updated valuation of US$15 billion following a US$71 million investment.

The company has also announced a suite of new features for its flagship workplace design product, Canva Presentations. The new features are designed to support workplaces adapting to a new hybrid model of work and include workplace templates for business plans, pitch decks and training manuals.

The vendor has also launched Talking Presentations to have a recorded presenter accompany each slide in a video; Canva Live, a live Q&A displayed on the screen during a session; and the mobile-first Canva Presentations tool to create, share and review a deck from anywhere.

Gupshup raises US$100 million

Conversational messaging outfit, Gupshup, has also been on the investment journey this week, raising US$100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management. This propels the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion.

Gupshup’s API enables over 100,000 developers and businesses to build messaging and conversational experiences delivering over 6 billion messages per month across 30+ messaging channels. Gupshup will use this investment to rapidly scale product and go-to-market initiatives worldwide in order to accelerate the transformation of business-to-consumer interactions with conversational experiences delivered over messaging channels. 

Ziflow raises US$6 million in expansion funding

Online proofing platform for agencies and brands, Ziflow, has raised a US$6 million expansion round, led by Companyon Ventures, with participation from Riverside Acceleration Capital (RAC), bringing total funding to approximately US$7.3 million.

The Ziflow platform provides users with rich annotation and markup tools, real-time collaboration capabilities and automated workflows to simplify the review and approval process. The funds will be used to accelerate the expansion of Ziflow’s product development and customer facing initiatives to meet the growing demand for enterprise-ready creative collaboration tools that compliment today’s remote working environments.  

Salesforce invests US$40 million in Community

In the final funding news this week, Salesforce will reportedly invest US$40 million in Community, a text message marketing startup, bringing Community’s total amount raised to about US$90 million.

Community launched in 2019 and enables users to send out texts as one-to-one messages to followers, or send texts to a select group of customers based on location or other criteria. Its backers have included celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, who use the platform to build an app where they and noted influencers can send texts directly to their fans. Early users also included Paul McCartney, Jake Paul, Ellen Degeneres and Jennifer Lopez.

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