CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 12 January 2023

All the latest martech, adtech and customer technology news from Bynder, Microsoft, OpenAI, The Trade Desk, Complexica, Snowplow, Genesys, AWS, Brightcove, Magnite and Alchemer.

Bynder secures majority Investment from private equity firm

Digital asset management (DAM) vendor, Bynder, has confirmed but not disclosed the value of a majority investment from Thomas H. Lee Partners, a private equity firm.

As part of the deal, THL is acquiring Insight Partners’ stake in Bynder, with the deal expected to close in early 2023. THL will invest in Bynder through both its flagship Fund IX and Automation Fund, the private equity industry’s first fund dedicated to automation-related businesses. THL is also an investor in Bazaarvoice, a full-funnel shopper engagement platform, plus inriver, a provider of product information management (PIM) software.

Bynder, which is 10 years old this year, is headquartered in Amsterdam and has major office hubs in the US, Spain, UK, Australia and the UAE. The company offers a cloud-based digital management platform to marketers and boasts of 4000 customers such as Spotify, Puma and Icelandair.

“Bynder is the pure-play market leader in a category that we believe has become foundational for executing digital marketing at scale,” said managing directors at THL, Cliff Longley and Jeff Swenson. “Its technology helps brands of all sizes deepen relationships with their customers and drive revenue growth.”

Bynder CEO, Bob Hickey, said THL’s backing will help accelerate its growth through product innovation and continued investment in its partner ecosystem. Bynder founder, Chris Hall, continues to serve on the board.

Microsoft reportedly to invest US$10bn into ChatGPT

Numerous global media reports are suggesting Microsoft is in talks to invest US$10 billion into the owner of ChatGPT, OpenAI.

ChatGPT is an AI-based chatbot and model created by OpenAI last year and fits into the camp of ‘generative AI’ technology. Its differentiation point is its dialogue, human-like format and ability to provide a conversational tool for natural language processing tasks such as text and language translation.  

Microsoft was reported to have invested $1bn into OpenAI back in 2019. The latest deal would reportedly give the software giant a 49 per cent stake, with other investors taking another 49 per cent and OpenAI’s non-profit parent holding 2 per cent. This would bring total market valuation of OpenAI to $29 billion.

Read more about the reported investment here.

The Trade Desk debuts Galileo

The Trade Desk is promising a new approach to optimising advertising through first-party data activation with its latest offering, Galileo.

Galileo works in concert with cross-channel identity solutions such as Unified ID 2.0 to allow advertisers to bring first-party data into all digital media advertising including connected TV. To do this, there’s direct onboarding integrations with a range of CRM, customer data platform (CDP), data and clean room providers so as to match audiences using UID2. These include Adobe, Amazon Web Services, Habu, InfoSum, LiveRamp and Salesforce. There are also reporting and measurement tools for identity matching and advertising performance.

 “The infrastructure of the internet is embracing new identity solutions built for today’s digital media consumption across different devices and apps, such as Unified ID 2.0. In doing so, they are creating the richest identity ecosystem we’ve ever experienced, and one that aims to put consumer privacy at the forefront,” claimed The Trade Desk chief strategy officer, Samantha Jacobson. “With Galileo, we will help the world’s major advertisers take advantage of this by unleashing the value of their most valuable customer data.

“Galileo and Unified ID 2.0… allow advertisers to optimise their data across all digital advertising channels with granular reporting on data performance.”

Complexica gains $3m investment injection

Perennial Partners has chipped $3 million into the coffers of sales and marketing technology vendor, Complexica, bringing total investment in the company over the last 18 months to $22 million.

Complexica provides artificial intelligence (AI) software for optimising sales, marketing and supply chain activities. The company has commercialised a modularised software platform called Decision Cloud off the back of its AI engine, Larry, the Digital Analyst. Its customers include DuluxGroup, Pfizer, PFD Food Services and Johnson & Johnson.

Perennial Partners, an Australia-based fund manager, will join existing institutional investors on the shareholder register, including Microequities Asset Management, ports and logistics operator, Flinders Ports Holdings, and ASX-listed investment bank and fund manager MA Financial.

“Complexica has a market leading position in Australia and is well positioned to scale up significantly both within Australia and globally,” Perennial Partners senior investment and legal principal, James McQueen, said. “We are thrilled to be joining the register and look forward to supporting Matt [Michalewicz, CEO] and the team as they grow Complexica going forward.”

Snowplow acquires Sydney-based Poplin Data

Behavioural data creation player, Snowplow, has acquired Sydney-based Poplin Data to set up its first APAC operating hub.

Poplin Data is an Australian data specialist consulting group and has supported enterprise and SMB customers within the Snowplow ecosystem for six years. The firm was the vendor’s first global partner. Services include first-party data collection, privacy and compliance-first data collection, real-time data collection, identity merging and data completeness solutions. Poplin Data also has particular focus on media and retail marketing solutions, including algorithmic attribution.

“By working with Snowplow's behavioural data platform, Poplin Data has expanded our vision of what data creation can be,” said Snowplow CEO and co-founder, Alex Dean. “The firm is a fantastic team of technologists who continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with our platforms. Bringing them into the Snowplow team expands our research and development efforts and helps us be closer to our global customer base.”

The pair said acquiring Poplin Data will accelerate delivery of Snowplow Data Product Accelerators (DPAs), enabling customers and open source users to build and deploy behavioural data-powered products and applications faster. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“With a number of local partnerships and key clients, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Finder and Wesfarmers Group, we look forward to bringing our world-class engineering and consulting capabilities to support Snowplow's rapid global growth," Robins added.

Snowplow's international expansion efforts also saw it debut its HQ2 in Boston, Massachusetts and grow its team in Berlin, Germany.

Genesys strikes collaboration agreement with AWS

Customer experience management vendor, Genesys, has signed a new strategic collaboration agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to better tie in technologies and automated solutions.

The latest agreement comes off the back of a longstanding partnership and will see Genesys and AWS doubling down and expanding joint development and their go-to-market relationship. The pair noted more than 4000 customers are using the Genesys Cloud CX platform built on AWS across 13 regions.

The companies are also working to market and sell Genesys Cloud CX with AWS Contact Centre Intelligence (CCI) solutions to streamline access for customers. Today, AWS CCI and Genesys Cloud CX customers can use Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, Amazon Kendra and other AI-powered services in the AWS CCI portfolio to improve customer service and agent productivity. The partnership further extends to availability of Genesys Cloud CX in the AWS Marketplace.

“Genesys has been both a customer and AWS Partner for many years, leveraging AWS’s digital transformation and implementing cloud customer experience strategies to develop innovative solutions for our customers,” said AWS vice-president, worldwide channels and alliances, Ruba Borno. “This strategic collaboration agreement takes our relationship with Genesys to the next level with investment to help organisations migrate to the Genesys Cloud CX solution and promote AWS Marketplace as a strategic channel for joint customers.”

Brightcove and Magnite partner up

Brightcove and Magnite have struck up a partnership they say will provide more transparency into available digital advertising supply and help unlock greater revenue opportunities for brands.

The strategic relationship sees Magnite’s independent sell-side advertising platform powering advertising for any Brightcove customer by becoming available directly through Brightcove. Brightcove will also integrate the SpringServe ad server with the aim of providing publishers with greater control, insight and transparency into available ad supply. Magnite acquired SpringServe in July 2021.

“We are committed to evolving our solutions, including supporting our customers’ efforts to monetise their video content,” said Brightcove CEO, Marc DeBevoise. “This integration with Magnite and SpringServe is a key step to enabling us to provide our customers with best-in-class solutions to meet their needs, allowing them to increase their ad fill rate and generate better CPMs.”

Magnite CRO, Sean Buckley, added the adtech player is also working with Brightcove on new ways to enrich the value of customers’ video inventory by packaging information such as content metadata in a way that’s easy for ad buyers to leverage.

Alchemer acquires mobile feedback tech company

Also on this week’s list of acquirers is Alchemer, which picked up mobile feedback technology player, Apptentive, for an undisclosed sum.  

Founded in 2006, Alchemer providers experience management and enterprise feedback technology. The acquisition of Apptentive is designed to provide its customers with a more in-depth method of collecting feedback from mobile customers. In turn, Apptentive customers gain access to survey and workflow functionality across communication channels and within platforms such as Salesforce, Microsoft Teams and Slack.

“This is the next step in Alchemer’s journey to democratise experience management and becomes the foundation for Alchemer’s digital engagement strategy,” said Alchemer CEO, David Roberts.  “Alchemer is excited the Apptentive team shares our vision to make every customer and employee voice matter.”

Alchemer and Apptentive will offer their combined set of solutions to customers effective immediately and plan to launch new, integrated solutions for the market shortly.

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