CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 10 November 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Unity, IronSource, Twilio, Qlik, Samba TV, Klaviyo, Eyeo, Blockthrough, Openprise and GetMee.

Unity and IronSource now finally complete

The US$4.4 billion merger between Unity and IronSource, first announced in July, has now been completed after a rocky few months.

Unity first announced its intention to buy IronSource, a significant player in the mobile gaming space, in July in a deal worth $4.4bn in stock. However, the deal came under threat after AppLovin submitted an unsolicited $20bn bid to buy Unity Software, provided it jettison the deal. Having rejected the offer, Unity continued to pursue the IronSource deal and has now officially closed it.

“The combination of Unity and IronSource is transformational in that it will give mobile game developers the tools they need at each stage of their development journey: From building, publishing, and operating mobile games to monetising them, if they choose to, and growing their player base across multiple channels,” the company said in a statement.

“Together with IronSource, we can transform the linear mobile game development process into a deeply connected and interactive one. By integrating IronSource's products into Unity's platform, developers will be able to get real-world player and market feedback earlier in the development process, which means that they can learn what players really want, make better games and be on track for a more successful game businesses.”

Unity also stated it remained committed to developing features for PCs, consoles and XR as well as mobile games.

Twilio expands customer engagement platform

Twilio has made a raft of enhancements to its customer engagement platform to up the ante on delivering personalised experiences across multiple channels at scale.

Among the enhancements are a password-less approach called Verify Silent Network Authentication (SNA), designed to quickly move an end user through authentication of new registration using deterministic mobile carrier signals. There’s also Twilio Engage, an expanded marketing solution to combine a native Customer Data Platform (CDP) and native omnichannel in one platform in order to act on data in real time and via any digital channel. The offering is now generally available.

In addition, Twilio has a new native integration between Google Dialogflow CX and Twilio Voice to assist virtual agents with advanced AI capabilities in IVRs and Flex. With little to no code, businesses can also automate self-service use cases while scrapping IVR. This follows the recent announcement of Twilio Flex’s integration with the Google Cloud Contact Center AI (CCAI) suite of technologies, deployable using the Sabio connector solution.

“My conversations with Twilio’s customers are changing rapidly right now. While the focus before was on a passion for growth, leaders today are concerned about the economy, durability, and are looking for ways to do more with less,” said Twilio co-founder and CEO, Jeff Lawson. “There’s a real desire out there to know customers so deeply investments become targeted, personalised and highly efficient. This is the promise of Twilio’s Customer Engagement Platform: A single platform that can create superior, data-driven customer experiences that increase lifetime value and strengthen your digital business to withstand these uncertain times.”

Qlik debuts cloud data integration tool

Qlik has taken the wrappers off Qlik Cloud Data Integration, a new tool designed to automate data movement and integration across an organisation in real time.

The new enterprise integration Platform as a Service (eiPaaS) is a set of SaaS services being pitched as a real-time data integration fabric for connecting enterprise applications and data sources to the cloud. To do this, a change data capture engine ensures current and changed data is moved to the cloud efficiently. Advanced transformation functionality also turns raw records into analytics-ready data via auto generated, push-down SQL by creating a reusable pipeline of data models and quality rules. It then automates generation and execution of SQL code to meet user designed data models, marts or custom formats.

Qlik uses metadata management and lineage to catalogue data and where it came from, as well as how it was transformed, as well as cover off governance. There is also API automation through a no-code visual interface to automate workflows for cloud application and data APIs. This includes pre-built templates for data engineering use cases such as reverse ETL and multi-vendor catalogue synchronisation.

“Improving the access, real-time movement and advanced transformation of data between sources and systems across the enterprise is crucial to organisations realizing the full power of their data,” said Qlik chief product officer, James Fisher. “Qlik Cloud Data Integration helps create that real-time fabric between any data source, target and destination, leveraging the power of the cloud to enable everyone in the enterprise to act with certainty through data.”

Samba TV acquires artificial intelligence player

TV adtech vendor, Samba TV, has acquired Disruptel, a startup in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) focused on innovating the future of AI and connected TV experiences.

The company said the acquisition will bolster its Samba AI suite of advanced AI and ML technologies, again aimed at building new omnichannel advertising and analytics capabilities in the connected TV market. Specifically, Samba TV said it’ll provide the foundation for new cutting-edge content recognition technology, interactive features and ad unit development that can drive a more immersive and engaging viewing experience for consumers with on-screen content information and recommendations.

Financial terms have not been disclosed. Samba TV plans to unveil new Samba AI-driven experiences for TV manufacturers in January at CES.

Disruptel’s machine learning technology deconstructs on-screen content in real-time, identifying the people, brands and products that appear. Samba AI, meanwhile, is a turnkey solution that allows television manufacturers to offer a ‘smart pause’ functionality that displays supplemental information about on-screen actors and actresses, as well as non-intrusive pause ad units embedded within the additional information.

“After unveiling Samba AI at CES, we have been making critical investments in Samba AI to support every facet of the connected TV ecosystem,” Samba TV Co-Founder and CEO, Ashwin Navin, said. “From the same company that introduced content recognition algorithms in connected TVs, we are excited to share how AI will unlock a more engaging viewing experience for the content we love.

“This acquisition brings us closer to the living room viewing experience we have all been dreaming about, where consumers are empowered to go deeper into the content they are viewing, advertisers will gain greater insights into the value of their sponsorships and TV manufacturers will capture new opportunities to differentiate their incredible products.”

Klaviyo buys dev browser code player

Martech vendor, Klaviyo, has also revealed an acquisition this week, purchasing for an undisclosed sum.  

Founded in January 2021 by Nick Sypteras, aim to provide developers with an easy and secure way to write and deploy code directly from a browser. The code, once live, can be set to run on a schedule, or deployed as an API endpoint. is Klaviyo’s first acquisition. The company said the deal underscores a continued commitment to the developer community. Earlier this year, the marketing automation vendor committed to enabling developers at customers, partners and freelancers with more ability to build on top of its platform. To support this, the company has recently launched new SDKs, a sample data tool to speed up Klaviyo onboarding, and a new developer portal to source API documentation, guides and developer-specific content.

As part of the acquisition, Sypteras will join the Klaviyo team, reporting to VP of data science, Ezra Freedman.

 “Last year, a few members of our team discovered and were immediately impressed with the power of the software, clear user interface, and unique feature set which are all Klaviyo-level quality,” said Ed Hallen, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Klaviyo. “Further, Nick shares our vision and DNA as a builder and creator – and he is passionate about the developer experience. We’re excited to see what we can build together.”

Alongside the acquisition, Klaviyo announced new APIs for enabling more programmatic access to new product areas. For example, developers can utilise Klaviyo’s new Catalogs API to programmatically create, update, or delete catalogue data in a customer’s account to send more personalised messages.

Eyeo acquires Blockthrough

Our third acquisition is by eyeo, which picked up a Toronto-based company for ad block revenue recovery.  

Blockthrough works with media brands to recover revenue lost due to ad blocking. Its publisher-side ad-filtering technology detects and prevents disruptive ads from being served to users of ad-blocking and ad-filtering products. Simultaneously, Blockthrough ensures all ads served to such users meet the Acceptable Ads Standard, an independently governed ad quality standard used by eyeo and publishers and embraced by 250 million monthly active users worldwide.

Eyeo, which is best known for its Adblock ad blocking technology, said it’s working to orient itself around ad filtering and the new acquisition would support this cause.

“Earlier in our history, eyeo was seen as a controversial digital media and marketing disruptor. Adblock Plus, the company’s key product, was initially denounced as an impediment to publishers and advertisers. Instead, it ended up serving as a ‘wake-up call’ – one that has led to an industry-wide recognition that the web must be a user-first environment in order for all stakeholders to thrive,” commented eyeo CEO, Frank Einecke. “Blockthrough’s technology is in lockstep with this line of thinking, giving consumers an online ad experience they’ve agreed to, while allowing publishers to recoup revenue otherwise lost. This leads to a win-win for publishers, advertisers and users.”

Openprise launches RevOps data automation cloud

Revenue management solutions vendor, Openprise, has launched the Openprise RevOps Data Automation Cloud.

The end-to-end cloud offering is firmly pitched at revops professionals and as a platform for supporting data orchestration and workflow automation across the full customer lifecycle. There are three core layers: Data orchestration to unify, align and share data; no-code full-funnel automation builders and delivered solutions; and funnel measurement and instrumentation to scale operations automation.

Also unveiled are new Openprise solutions aimed to help ease the most common RevOps pain points found across various go-to-market motions. These include best practices, speed to solution, pre-defined data mapping and pre-built reports and dashboards to cover off data quality, data enrichment, campaign attribution, routing and matching, and account/territory administration.

Openprise has additionally introduced the Project-builder workbench to simplify access to data, build and test complex automations, and activate across back-end integrations. In addition, Funnel Automation and Visualization have been added in to help understand funnel stages across multiple funnel flows, set triggers and orchestrate plays across stages.

“The Openprise RevOps Data Automation Cloud and our next-generation solutions enable you to directly link all your work to business values and scale across organizational boundaries without needing additional resources,” said Openprise founder and CEO, Ed King. “Having both scalability and flexibility means you can truly transform RevOps into a competitive differentiator—a multiplier of investment, performance and speed.”

Aussie AI Communication startup scores first investment

Melbourne startup, GetMee, has confirmed its first investment from the Entrepreneur Network, part of a worldwide network of entrepreneurs.

GetMee is building an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) communication tool aimed at objectively measuring then enhancing the social, emotional and communication skills of the individual. According to founder and CEO of GetMee, Balendran Thavarajah, GetMee is made up of both advanced AI techniques and live human coaches, experts in communication and personal development to support it. The application is also designed to evolve along with the client’s to enable them to keep improving.

GetMee’s clients include Deakin University, Far Eastern University, VFS Global, Education Centre of Australia, AMES Australia, YouStudy International College, Kubik Leadership and Coaching Indonesia.

The recent investment will enable the company to take another step toward offering a coaching tool to millions of individuals worldwide that will help them improve their personal and professional lives.

The new backer is the Entrepreneur network, TiE Melbourne, the Australian chapter of a large global networks of entrepreneurs established in 2003. TiE Melbourne Angels was launched in 2022 to invest in Australian startups, and GetMee is its first investment.  

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