CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 17 November 2022

All the latest martech and adtech news from Contentstack, Optimizely, LiveTiles, Sprinklr, Toluna, WP Engine, DoubleVerify and

Contentstack raises US$80 million

India-based content management system (CMS) vendor, Contentstack, has raised US$80 million in Series C funding to drive development and take-up of its offering.

The Series C round was co-Led by Georgian and Insight Partners, with participation from Illuminate Ventures. Georgian’s lead investor, Emily Walsh, will join the Contentstack board along with Contentstack CFO, David Overmyer. It brings total investment in Contentstack to $169 million so far and comes after Series B funding was raised in June 2021.

Contentstack was incubated in India-based Raw Engineering before it was spun out in 2018. The latest funds will be used to help build the composable and headless CMS offering as well as recruit talent across its broadening Indian footprint. The cloud-agnostic solution supports both AWS and Microsoft Azure in the US and Europe.

“We are super excited to be among the fastest growing SaaS companies in India,” commented Contentstack co-founder and CTO, Nishant Patel. “Our mission is to help support and drive massive growth in the Indian startup ecosystem. Recently sponsoring the Nasscom Product Conclave helped energise that mission; you can expect more of that to come.”

The company has grown to more than 400 employees and said its nearing 50,000 users in 70 global markets. Contentstack’s Automation Hub offering is used by brands such as Chase, Holiday Inn, Levi’s, Mattel, McDonald's, Mitsubishi and Shell.

Sprinklr teams with Salesforce to unify CXM and CRM

Customer engagement platform vendor, Sprinklr, has partnered up with Salesforce in a new sales partnership to drive joint take-up of its solution alongside CRM.

Sprinklr’s platform is designed to help brands manage how customers are engaging with them via external digital channels. The Sprinklr Unified-CXM does this by pulling in structured and unstructured data from customers' engagements on channels from phone systems to chat apps, social media platforms, review sites and customer service platforms. Sprinklr also provides a unified platform to create advertising and organic content to engage with customers across external channels.

Sprinklr has been working with Salesforce for the past five years to improve integrations. The expanded partnership announced this week is supported by strategic partnerships with go-to-market partners such as Accenture and is about identifying then helping joint customer unify the CXM solution with Salesforce CRM.

Specifically, the pair said they want to enable customers to connect unstructured, unsolicited, real-time social data to the customer data platform (CDP); build better social intelligence into marketing, product development and customer case processes; and help organisations extract better value from their respective platforms as a result.

Sprinklr senior VP of global alliances, Doug Balut, said the companies and their field sellers will actively partner to help the world's largest enterprises adopt a unified approach to CXM and CRM to provide better customer experiences and improved results for their businesses.

“Sprinklr has been helping enterprises gain visibility into customer support issues and contact info through our integration to Salesforce for over five years. Now the integration has grown into a partnership,” he said.

“Connecting with customers across the digital platforms they choose is critical for businesses digitally transforming,” added Salesforce VP of ISV sales, Amy Gorman. “We are thrilled to be working with Sprinklr to help companies create a truly unified view of their customers.”

Toluna acquires Further

Consumer insights company, Toluna, has acquired Further, a qualitative research technology, for an undisclosed sum.

The parent company of brands such as Harris Interactive, KuRunData and GutCheck, said bringing Further into the Toluna Start consumer intelligence platform will give clients an industry-leading combination of quantitative and qualitative real-time research capabilities. These are available via what’s been touted as an intuitive user interface.

“By providing our customers with this unparalleled combination of agile qualitative and quantitative solutions, as well as integrated access to our panel of over 40 million global respondents and our team of experts across the globe, Toluna makes it easier than ever for brands to engage with consumers on a deeper level - anytime, anywhere,” Toluna CEO and founder, Frédéric-Charles Petit, said. “After the recent acquisition of GutCheck, the launch of Toluna Start Qual is another critical step in executing our strategy to be the best platform: A platform curated for research by combining the best of technology with the best of global panel and best of research expertise at scale.”

Toluna Start Qual has also been made available and provides research capabilities such as diaries, discussions, focus groups, polls and surveys. These can be programmed on the platform using a built-in researcher toolkit. Other capabilities include text analytics, integrated tagging tools, and data analysis.

Optimizely on Microsoft Azure Marketplace

Optimizely has brought its digital experience platform (DXP) offering to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace to allow customers to use the online store for applications and services to streamline deployment and management.

Optimizely’s martech solution offers content management, commerce and personalisation functionality. Its DXP CMS is available in a platform-as-a-service model, built on Microsoft .NET 5/6 and is natively designed to run on Azure.

The vendor said the latest launch allows customers to benefit from the latest Optimizely Content Management Version 12 and B2C Commerce Version 14, the first built on ASP.NET Core. It also comes on the heels of the recent release of the .NET Upgrade Assistant to make it easier for customers to move to .NET 5/6.

“Launching Optimizely DXP on Microsoft Azure Marketplace is the next step in helping more organisations unleash their full potential and transform digital experiences,” said Optimizely CEO, Alex Atzberger. “By using Optimizely’s DXP with Azure, marketing teams have unlimited possibilities to drive exceptional digital experiences, while ensuring the highest level of reliability and security.”

WP Engine extends solution through Azure

WP Engine is also partnering with Microsoft Azure to extend its multi-cloud WordPress platform.

The vendor has launched its Managed WordPress Platform on Microsoft Azure to allow companies who prefer Microsoft to choose Azure to build and scale WordPress experiences. The WP Engine platform is available on Azure initially in the US and the Netherlands and will expand into other regions throughout 2023 to serve more global customers.

“Working with Microsoft on an Azure-based offering helps us deliver on our promise to be the world’s most trusted WordPress platform for businesses around the world,” said WP Engine chairwoman and CEO, Heather Brunner. “We’re proud to collaborate with Microsoft in powering their Microsoft Stories site, now 7x faster with WP Engine powered by Azure.”

WP Engine first began working with Microsoft in 2018 to put Microsoft Stories website on the platform. In 2021, increased content demand and need to streamline in-house Web processes led to a collaboration between Microsoft and WP Engine teams to fully integrate WP Engine’s platform with Microsoft Azure.

LiveTiles debuts Reach Marketplace with Amazon, Microsoft and My Net Zero

LiveTiles has taken the wrappers off Reach Marketplace, a customisable online solution for enterprises to create a bespoke online marketplace for their customers.

The employee experience software provider described the new solution as a customisable ‘Shopify-like’ platform enabling companies to create bespoke marketplaces for their customers, employees and distribution partners. Capability includes an ability to personalise product offerings to customer database segments, integration with CRM systems including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, and have a foundation in the Microsoft Azure platform. The solution has been in development for 18-months.

LiveTiles said it plans to build significant pipeline in the B2B ecommerce marketplace software category with existing enterprise customer base including Nestle, Novartis, and PepsiCo. Reach Marketplace’s pricing strategy will combine annual recurring license fees for the Reach Marketplace platform, with added professional services and support fees on offer.

LiveTiles is now being used to launch Amazon’s Employee Sustainability Marketplace by My Net Zero across Amazon distribution centres including a Climate Engagement Tracker and other sustainability tools. Microsoft is also using the marketplace offering to create a private ecommerce store for its largest customers in Asia-Pacific.

DoubleVerify expands collaboration with LinkedIn

Digital media measurement and analytics player, DoubleVerify, has launched DV Authentic Brand Suitability and DV Custom Contextual solutions on the LinkedIn Audience Network.

The two products aim to assist advertisers with ensuring campaign impressions are delivered on inventory that aligns with their brand safety, suitability and contextual needs. DV Authentic Brand Suitability is a customised and scalable protection solution and use DV’s Semantic Science proprietary contextual classification system

“Our work with LinkedIn underscores DV’s continued leadership position in optimising media quality and performance holistically across the digital media landscape providing our advertisers the confidence to invest across channels and environments," said DoubleVerify EVP, business development, Steven Woolway. “LinkedIn is a leading platform for B2B digital advertising, and we are thrilled to collaborate to support brand suitability and contextual targeting.”

DV added the release builds on previous work with LinkedIn to help power its custom, network-wide brand safety floor and invalid traffic protection to help ensure advertisers are protected from universally unsafe content and IVT on the LinkedIn Audience Network.

Product growth platform startup raises US$14m, an Israeli-based startup, has publicly launched its product growth platform with US$14 million in seed funding.

Scale Venture Partners led the funding round, with participation from Cardumen Capital and several prominent product and growth leaders, including Brian Balfour (founder/CEO of Reforge, former VP of growth at Hubspot), Lenny Rachitsky (owner of Lennysnewsletter and former product lead at Airbnb), Casey Winters (former CPO of Eventbrite and growth lead at Pinterest), Darius Contractor (former chief product and engineering Officer of Vnder and VP of growth at Airtable) and Ben Shanken (VP of product at Discord). The company will use the funds to continue refining its proprietary insights engine and scaling its team.

Loops is looking to better enable product and growth teams to improve key performance indicators (KPIs) by automatically identifying concrete opportunities from their data. Loops does this with a no-code solution that plugs into data sources and automatically runs thousands of proprietary analyses and ML models to examine and reveal what product and growth teams need to know against particular growth outcomes. Loops also measures the impact of actions and refines its recommendations over time.

The company claims early success has translated to 8x revenue growth for Loops over the last seven months as it rapidly expands its customer base. Companies working with Loops include Monday, Replit and Taboola.

“Companies are doubling down on profitability and efficiency, so metrics like conversion rate, retention and upsell opportunities are top priorities for them,” said Scale Venture Partners partner, Ariel Tseitlin. “Loops uniquely unlocks the answers that drive rapid, yet smart, growth. We see tremendous potential for the product in the market, and the founding team has strong credibility to go after it.”

Loops was founded in 2020 by a group of data scientists from Google and elite Israeli Defence Forces technological units.

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