CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 10 February 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Innovids, TVSquared, InMoment, DemandScience, Selling Simplified, Analytic Partners, Cerebra, NICE, Contxtful, Scibids and Validity.

TVSquared acquired by Innovid

TV delivery and measurement company, TVSquared, has been acquired by Innovid in a deal worth about US$160 million.

Innovid said the acquisition is about positioning it as the single source for ad serving and measurement for the converged TV era. The purchase price includes $100m in case as well as additional stock consideration. TVSquared’s preliminary revenues for full-year 2021 are expected to be between US$20m-$22m.

Upon closing, TVSquared founder, Calum Smeaton, will step down to take on a strategy role and support the integration. Long-serving TVSquared president, Jo Kinsella, will join the Innovid executive team and lead the measurement business.

“In acquiring TVSquared, we aim to provide the most complete view of the total TV and digital universe through a scalable, currency-grade measurement platform,” said Innovid CEO and co-founder, Zvika Netter. “Additionally, we immediately accelerate and broaden our scope globally, as brands, agencies, publishers and broadcasters on six continents rely on TVSquared to maximise reach, identify the right audiences and drive business growth with TV.”  

The combined entity will offer buy-and sell-side solutions, processing billions of impressions events daily. This will include ad serving, creative personalisation and optimisation, outcomes and audience measurement, including reach, frequency and unique unduplicated reach, for the total TV and digital universe.

The TVSquared acquisition is expected to close by the end of Innovid’s fiscal second quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.

DemandScience purchases Finity SA

Our second acquisition this week is by B2B pipeline management vendor, DemandScience, which has picked up Switzerland-based Finity SA for an undisclosed sum.

Finity SA provides artificial intelligence (AI)-driven content creation and aggregation tools off the back of its analysis of 500 million social media posts, 20 million news articles and 50 million news sites and blogs. Its analysis tools work to understand what is happening in any industry, topic or location then turns this into content, such as live visualisations and infographics.

It’s one of six acquisitions made by DemandScience in the last 18 months. Others include demand generation platform, Internal Results; B2B sales enablement platform, Leadiro; global revenue intelligence platform, Airborne App; and content intelligence player, TrustedOut.

“Our acquisitions in the UK, Ireland, France and now Switzerland have strengthened our global first-party data strategy, deepened our intent aggregation and behavioural insights, and leveraged global content across a wider set of B2B verticals,” said DemandScience chair and CEO, Peter Cannone. “This is enabling our worldwide customers across North America, EMEA and APAC to grow their businesses, and fuel our success.”

Alongside the deal, DemandScience has expanded its global presence with a new European headquarters based in London.  

IDG Communications acquires Selling Simplified

Also looking to build its B2B lead generation nous is global technology publisher, IDG Communications*, which has made its fourth martech acquisition this week.

IDG has acquired Selling Simplified’s database and demand generation software, part of an effort to extend IDG’s technology and data platform capability. Selling Simplified provides a marketing-as-a-service (MaaS) platform, called Demandcentr, that provides lead generation products, data services and analytics by monitoring and gauging behaviour context and purchase intent. This is achieved via a database of more than 160 million B2B records specific to tech industry purchase intent.

In a statement, IDG said the purchase allows it to add contact and account level, AI-powered lead generation capabilities to its expanding suite of intent-based marketing technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Segmenting an audience by job title and role in the purchase decision is no longer sufficient at generating sales leads. Marketing campaigns simply perform better when you can also apply knowledge of the prospect’s current stage in the path-to-purchase and actively engage them,” said IDG Communications president, Kumaran Ramanathan. “Selling Simplified has been able to provide just that and shares our commitment to building deep relationships across international markets.”

Selling Simplified is one of a number of acquisitions IDG has made over the last 18 months to build out its internal martech capabilities. Others include account-based marketing (ABM) platform, Triblio; marketing data and intelligence solution, KickFire; and B2B sales and marketing data intent platform, LeadSift.

InMoment ups the AI ante

Customer experience management platform, InMoment, has taken the wrappers off a new AI layer in its XI Platform aimed at improving automated intelligence capability.

The vendor said the new AI layer will assist brands to grow through a better understanding of teams, current and future customers by balancing data-driven automation with human interaction. It comes off the back of InMoment’s recent acquisition of Lexalytics, which provides structured and unstructured data analytics tools.

Specifically, InMoment AI is promising more intelligent data management analytics across customer and employee journeys, sentiment analysis, behaviour prediction based on business metrics and unstructured data, and automated next-best action recommendations for customer segments based on data insight. “The further investment in InMoment AI means we can now offer our clients the unique capability to identify transformative insights from previously inaccessible data to make unprecedented impact,” said Andrew Joiner, CEO of InMoment.

Onex Partners puts dollars behind Analytic Partners

Measurement and optimisation company, Analytic Partners, has secured what’s being touted as a ‘significant’ investment from US-based investment manager, Onex Corporation.

Onex Partners has agreed to make a significant investment from its US$7.2 billion fund into Analytic Partners to accelerate growth. 

Analytic Partners offers a cloud-based, managed software platform to help customers assess marketing spend effectiveness and optimise future allocations across offline and online media channels. The company was founded in 2000 and launched in Australia in 2016. Its local MD, Paul Sinkinson, said the investment will enable Analytic Partners to further establish market dominance.

“Onex is an expert in backing market-leading software companies, so we’re delighted to add this intellectual and financial firepower to our armoury,” he commented. “Our technology has long helped Aussie marketers understand the true impact of their media spend and with a 90 per cent client retention rate, we’re an attractive investment.”

The transaction is anticipated to close later this year subject to customary closing conditions. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Cerebra secures US$15m

US-based marketing data analytics company, Cerebra, has secures US$15 million in investment to expand its workforce and support R&D efforts.

The company was established in 2018 with the aim of bringing together internal and external data sources with algorithms to analyse and drive insights that can be used to further marketing outcomes. Data sources in its sights include Google Analytics, inventory, returns, transactions, catalogues, CRM, marketing data, reviews and product images. The platform then provides recommendations on product innovation or on which products are worth discounting based on campaign performance and stock levels, for example.

The latest funding round was led by Notion Capital and brings total investment into the Cerebra to $16.5m to date. Cerebra has 80 customers and is looking to use the latest funding to build on its 23-strong workforce, spur on product development and acquire customers.

NICE expands Google pact

NICE is expanding its partnership with Google by extending CXone compatibility with the Chrome OS ecosystem.

The customer experience platform provider has joined Google’s Chrome Enterprise Recommended program and has ensured CXone, its secure, scalable and rapidly deployable platform, now meets the technical bar set by Google to be considered as an optimised solution for devices across the Chrome OS ecosystem for use in contact centres.

CXone capabilities include AI-powered conversational self-service, knowledge management, AI-powered omnichannel contact routing, interactive voice response (IVR), predictive dialler, workforce engagement and CX analytics.

“This expansion of our partnership with Google reaffirms NICE’s commitment to bringing exceptional, next-gen, digitally fluent experiences to organisations and their agents on an operating system of their choice,” NICE CXone CEO, Paul Jarman, said.

Contxtful improves Receptivity

Adtech company, Contxtful, has launched the second iteration of its attention metric for the mobile advertising industry.

Receptivity is a metric measuring users’ attention as they visit a website or app. This is achieved in real-time using non-private sensor data from the user’s mobile device, such as the gyroscope and accelerometer. Advertisers can then show ads to the most engaged users at a more appropriate moment in time.

The latest version has been extended to reach the entirety of the mobile Web. This has been achieved by updating Receptivity’s AI model to learn from the analysed user data, the company stated.

“We read a user’s individual online ‘body language’ in real-time and group patterns to identify if a viewer is at peak attention,” said Contxtful CTO, Alexandre Desilets-Benoit, PhD. “The next generation of Receptivity allows you to ‘read the room’ and automatically evaluate if your placement will have the maximum impact for each and every mobile impression. You can finally consider human attention in your mobile ad campaign planning.”

Scibids launches in Australia and New Zealand

Adtech player, Scibids, has launched in the Australia and New Zealand markets, appointing James Whitbread as local country manager.

The company employs AI tools and customisable algorithms to help with digital advertising decisioning. Scibids AI is enabled within several DSPs and aims to unify the ad stack between planning and measurement.

Whitbread joins with more than 17 years of media experience across adtech, digital and programmatic businesses such as DoubleVerify and Flashtalking. He’s being joined by Mansi Garg as commercial director, A/NZ.

The local hires come hot on the heels of in-market teams being established in India as well as Japan.

“Australia is a market leader in adoption of new technology, and given the market dynamics around media costs, desire for transparency and talent, an Artificial Intelligence solution like Scibids is a perfect fit,” Scibids APAC MD Rahul Vasudev, said. “We are excited to be able to officially launch in Australia and New Zealand with two highly passionate and experienced individuals like James and Mansi.”

Validity debuts new-look data productivity platform

Validity has rejigged its GridBuddy Connect platform to enable better data productivity and support more sources of business data.

GridBuddy Connect is a data productivity platform for sales teams and aims to make data easy to find, update and view - no matter its source. The revamped offering now connects to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP, OData and Zendesk platforms in order to give sales professionals a more complete, centralised view of their data.

New features of GridBuddy Connect, formerly known as GridBuddy Cloud, include a spreadsheet-simple interface to access and edit data in different views based on individual roles, plus consolidated data management from multiple sources in one view.

“Gridbuddy Connect allows us to expand the universe of people we can help become more productive with their data,” said Validity global head of data solutions, Chris Hyde.

*IDG Communications is the parent company of CMO Australia.

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