CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 31 March 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Nielsen, Optimove, BigCommerce, Terminus, TripleLift, Soprano Design, Sensor Tower and InMobi.

Nielsen to go into private equity hands after US$16 billion deal

Nielsen has voted in favour of a US$16 billion deal by a private equity firm consortium that also includes assumption of debt and a $5.7 billion equity commitment.

The all-cash transaction will see shareholders receive $28 per share, a 60 per cent premium on the company’s unaffected stock price and 10 per cent over a previous proposal to acquire the company made in March. Evergreen Coast Capital and Brookfield Business partners are leading the latest consortium pursuing the purchase.

A key element of the proposal is for Nielsen’s ONE product rollout to remain on track. ONE is a cross-channel measurement solution that provides both reach and frequency metrics through a de-duplicated view of content and audiences.

“After a thorough assessment, the board determined that this transaction represents an attractive outcome for our shareholders by providing a cash takeout at a substantial premium, while supporting Nielsen's commitment to our clients, employees and stakeholders. The consortium sees the full potential of Nielsen's leadership position in the media industry and the unique value we deliver for our clients worldwide," said Nielsen board of directors’ chairperson, James A Attwood.

"After months of deep market analysis, industry diligence and management reviews, we are firmly convinced Nielsen will continue to be the gold standard for audience measurement as it executes on the Nielsen ONE roadmap,” added managing partner, Jesse Cohn, and senior portfolio manager, Marc Steinberg, on behalf of Evergreen and Elliott.

“Having first invested in Nielsen nearly four years ago, we have a unique appreciation for the company's ongoing relevance to the global, digital-first media ecosystem.”

The transaction is subject to approval by Nielsen shareholders, regulatory approvals, consultation with the works council and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. There is also a 45-day ‘go-shop’ period included, allowing Nielsen and its financial advisors to solicit, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with parties that offer alternative acquisition proposals.

However, a competing bidder who makes a superior proposal will bear a $102 million termination fee payable if Nielsen terminates the transaction agreement with the consortium.

Optimove extends mobile capabilities with Kumulos purchase

CRM marketing platform vendor, Optimove, has acquired Kumulos, a Scotland-based provider of a personalised messaging platform for mobile applications.

In a statement, Optimove said the purchase furthers efforts to expand the native messaging capabilities of its customer journey and marketing orchestration platform as well as bolsters its artificial intelligence (AI) engine. Optimove has a customer data platform built into the core of its offering.

Specifically, the team will look to leverage existing SDKs for all leading operating systems, including iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, Cordova/Ionic, Unity, and Xamarin to bring differentiated mobile marketing solutions to market. Combined, these will help brands better orchestrate multi-channel marketing journeys across Web, email and mobile channels, the company said.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Kumulos co-founder, will join Optimove as director of engineering for mobile services. Optimove will also invest in Scotland locations as an R&D centre to complement development locations in Tel Aviv and Ukraine.

“Our accelerated growth has been driven by building the most powerful orchestration ‘brain’ in the market on top of our CDP,” said Optimove founder and CEO, Pini Yakuel. “To support our next stage of growth, we will continue to add expanded capabilities to help marketers reach customers in many different ways. We already do this in email and Kumulos was a natural fit to offer this across mobile marketing as they provide an easy way to build out sophisticated mobile and web campaigns.”

Optimove plans to continue its product enhancement through additional value-add technology acquisitions this year. The company raised US$75 million over the last six months to help accelerate platform development through M&A and secure extra headcount.

BigCommerce debuts Multi-Storefront

Ecommerce platform provider, BigCommerce, has taken the wrappers off Multi-Storefront, new features for creating and managing multiple shopfonts within one store.

The new capability was triggered by reducing operational costs and complexities when managing multiple storefront experiences. It’s accessible via the BigCommerce control panel and can be used for storefronts that have separate domains, customised design, transactional and promotional emails and custom pricing. Merchants can also simplify management through holistic views to manage customers, products, order fulfilment and storefront analytics and data insights.

All storefronts can be powered by BigCommerce’s native stencil theme framework or by a third-party headless front-end such as Next.js, Bloomreach and WordPress. In addition, brands can mix-and-match headless and native stencil storefronts in a single account.   

“Multi-Storefront marks a significant milestone in our platform’s ability to serve the most complex use cases and is expected to be the most transformative of our enterprise product enhancements,” said BigCommerce CEO, Brent Bellm. “This powerful new capability gives merchants the flexibility to grow their brand, segment and geographic scope within the scalable context of a single account.”

Terminus launches connected account experiences

A vendor with its sights set on improving first-party data integration and use this week is Terminus. The account-based marketing (ABM) platform provider has announced Connected Account Experiences for first-party data to improve engagement with target buyers, connected TV and audio ads and support pipeline growth.

Features include integrations with Outreach, Salesloft and Slack to enhance sales notifications and lead routing, which in turn create synchronised account experiences that turn every touchpoint into a conversation. Marketers can also continuously optimise ABM strategies with Terminus Identify, the visitor identification system recently added to the Terminus Platform, which features the company's own first-party data sets.

The launch of Terminus CTV and Audio also allows users to drive awareness and influence with connected TV and audio ads, running ads on platforms like Spotify, Hulu, and other popular streaming services.

“Today’s marketers need an ABM strategy that engages buyers with personalised touchpoints and connected account experiences across all channels and across the full funnel,” Terminus CEO, Tim Kopp, said. “With Connected Account Experiences, Terminus enables marketers to identify their buyers wherever they are, reach them on any screen they use, and engage them with the marketing and sales automation tools their teams use every day.” 

Communications vendor Soprano acquires conversational AI firm

Our third acquisition news item this week is from Australia-based communications tech player, Soprano, which has acquired UK-based ubisend for an undisclosed sum.  

Ubisend has created chatbot and conversational AI communication tools for businesses focused on facilitating communications in channels such as Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger, Facebook Workplace, Instagram, Telegram and email. Clients include Unilever, Wagamama and the UK’s National Health System, while use cases extend from customer service to lead qualifying and HR support and include RPA (robotic process automation), live chat and ticketing solutions.

Soprano said it’s looking to leverage ubisend’s AI-powered communication technology to launch, manage and monitor conversational solutions and scale AI communications and automation across an organisation, from HR and sales to IT and customer service. Soprano is a 26-year-old Australian business that handles more than 10 billion communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) communications on a monthly basis and has 4500 clients.

“Consumers and citizens are demanding ever more tailored communication experiences from the brands and organisations they’re engaging,” said Soprano Design founder and CEO, Richard Favero.

“We know as many as 80 per cent of CPaaS use cases remain undiscovered. The advances that ubisend has made in applying AI technology to provide richer communication experiences will allow us to accelerate the adoption of new use cases. Conversational AI is completely aligned to our customer promise to unleash the full potential of our customer communications.”

The deal follows Soprano’s acquisition of APAC CPaaS vendor, Silverstreet, in December 2020. The company also signalled its intention to continue to invest to acquire innovation and market share as the CPaaS sector expands.

Sensor Tower debuts down under

Market intelligence company, Sensor Tower, is officially expanding into Australia.

Businesses with a local app will now have access to Sensor Tower’s digital market intelligence data, which provides app performance metrics such as consumer spending, unique downloads, ad impressions, share of voice and engagement for competitors’ products on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Customers can also view markets in which their competitors are growing fastest internationally, how they accomplished this and how they’ve been able to localise their app experience for each region.

The eight-year-old, US-based company’s platform is used by brands such as Nestle, Twitter, HBO and Target. Last year, it acquired digital marketing intelligence vendor, Pathmatics, which has already launched locally, in order to generate a more holistic view of digital and mobile asset intelligence.

Sensor Tower said data showed Australia is one of the world’s top 10 largest mobile app markets by revenue, with app revenue increasing by nearly 60 per cent over the past three years. Australia’s app market is now worth nearly $3 billion annually. 

“We’ve observed meaningful app growth by unicorn startups based in Australia, such as Canva. Casual gaming studios in Australia have also created top-charting titles year after year, and in the last 12 months we’ve even seen some Australian crypto companies break into the top 10 most downloaded crypto apps in the world,” Sensor Tower APAC Managing Director, Tom Cui, said. “Until now, there has been a lack of transparency in Australian mobile insights, which is why we’re launching in Australia — to give brands the tools to optimise and prioritise their apps.”

Sensor Tower derives its data from the largest first-party mobile app panel worldwide, combined with data science modelling. The Sensor Tower platform utilises net revenue as its metric for measuring app earnings.

TripleLift acquires 1plusX

The final acquisition in our round-up this week is by TripleLift. The adtech player has picked up 1plusX, a first-party data activation platform, for an undisclosed sum.

The companies said the combination of 1plusX’s privacy-friendly solutions and TripleLift’s scaled media marketplace will enable publishers to better monetise their content while helping advertisers more effectively reach their audiences.

TripleLift offers an addressable advertising marketplace and claims to execute more than 1 trillion ad transactions every month. It’s party of the Vista equity Partners portfolio. 1plusx is a real-time audience and asset data management offering, data clean room and CTV solutions provider.

The acquisition also allows both companies to speed their roadmaps and bring new products to market.

“The combination of TripleLift and 1plusX means publishers and marketers will have a scaled, independent platform that is designed for the privacy-centric future,” said TripleLift co-founder and CEO, Eric Berry. “Thousands of TripleLift publishers can access 1plusX’s best-in-class technology to leverage first-party data and TripleLift advertisers can apply that same data to targeting capabilities made for the privacy era. No third-party cookies required.”

InMobi creates independent mediation platform

Also pushing forward on the publisher data management space is InMobi, which has announced new mobile mediation platform, Meson.  

The adtech player described its SaaS mediation offering as an environment where publishers can analyse multiple data sets, access a ready-to-deploy application programming interface and SDK integrations for programmatic ad management to create an in-house, white-label ad monetisation solution. Key capabilities of Meson include tools to understand and better manage the auction and waterfall set-up, analytics capabilities and predictive modelling to allow for near real-time ad campaign adjustments.

Transparency is the key selling point for the SaaS platform, with direct access to all aspects of mediation including full visibility on the infrastructure usage, service parameters and associated costs, as well as the opportunity of third-party audit. Publishers decide which demand partners bid in an auction, incorporate their own models, set the rules and auction dynamics to clear their inventory, providing a similar level of control for in-app advertising that a publisher would have for in-app purchases. 

Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page   



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