CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 3 October 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news from Acquia, Cheetah Digital, Salesforce, Auttomatic, Segment, RedPoint, Criteo and Robling.

Acquia acquired by private equity for US$1 billion

Digital experience management vendor, Acquia, has been acquired by Vista Equity Partners in a deal valued at US$1 billion.

The deal comes hot on the heels of Acquia’s recent acquisitions of Mautic and Cohesion and is being described as another step forward in its efforts to build a holistic digital experience platform (DXP) space. The acquisition gives the martech player access to more resources, R&D funding and capabilities to scale.

Acquia offers an open source-based platform, informed by the Drupal community, and has 4000 customers globally including more than 30 companies in the Fortune 100. The company will continue to operate independently, with the deal expected to close within weeks.

“Vista shares our belief that the DXP market is ripe for disruption and we are excited to partner with the company to accelerate our plans,” said Acquia CEO, Michael Sullivan. “Vista’s support will allow us to invest more in R&D, expand faster and get products to market quicker while also continuing to give back to the Drupal and Mautic developer communities.”

Vista has invested in a number of technology players in the marketing, digital and customer management space, most notably Marketo, which is purchased in 2016 for US$1.79 billion and sold to Adobe last year for a whopping US$4.75 billion.

Cheetah pitches for holistic engagement

Cheetah Digital has repackaged its offerings and unveiled the new Engagement Data Platform, a solution it claims offers a new take on the hot customer data platform (CDP) category.

The EDP is underpinning the vendor’s digital marketing products, experiences, messaging and loyalty offerings as an underlying data foundation and personalisation engine. It’s also put together its digital acquisition, personalised marketing campaign functionality, and loyalty program delivery and management solutions under the overarching mantle of Customer Engagement Suite.   

“Despite advances in marketing technology, many brands are still struggling to unify and execute on customer data, understand their customers and deliver personalisation at scale – all of which result in poor experiences for consumers and lost productivity for marketers,” Cheetah Digital CEO, Sameer Kazi, commented. “That’s why we’ve worked the last two years to deliver the next generation of customer engagement technology.”

Salesforce offers new Dataroma capabilities

Salesforce has debuted two new Dataroma marketing analytics tools aimed at simplifying data preparation and improving visualisation.

The new Data Harmonisation centre is designed to help marketers cleanse, classify, standardise and enrich data for more accurate analysis. It does this by creating a consistent taxonomy across disparate data sets through classification, naming convention patterns and data hygiene scores.

Data Canvas, meanwhile, allows marketers to create custom dashboards for visualising insights. The new offering includes design editing tools, visualisation widgets and themes as well as artificial intelligence-powered visualisation recommendations based on data they are using.  

Salesforce Ventures splurges $300m on WordPress parent

Salesforce’s Ventures division has splurge $300 million to take out the full Series D funding round in WordPress parent company, Automattic.

The deal pitches the 15-year old company’s total value now at US$3 billion, three times what Automattic’s value was after the latest funding round in 2014. The funding will be spent on accelerating the product roadmap, scale up existing products including WordPress, and Tumblr, and allow the business to invest more time and energy in the open source WordPress and Gutenberg initiatives.

“The Salesforce funding is also a vote of confidence for the future of work,” the company’s CEO, Matt Mullenweg, stated in a blog post. “Automattic has grown to more than 950 employees working from 71 countries, with no central office for several years now. Distributed work is going to reshape how we spread opportunity more equitably around the world. There continue to be new heights shown of what can be achieved in a distributed fashion, with Gitlab announcing a round at $2.75 billion earlier this week.”

Segment goes into Functions

Data platform provider, Segment, has taken the wrappers off Functions, a new tool for bringing fresh types of data into its platform.

The solution aims to let companies build custom data integrations more simply, providing capability to ingest, enrich and then send on first-party data across enterprise systems without additional infrastructure and in minutes. This means businesses can use any marketing, business or analytics tool to deliver products and customer experiences based on high-quality data, the vendor said.

Companies are able to use their data thanks to more than 300 pre-built destinations integrations including analytics, data warehouses, A/B testing, live chat and customer success tools, as well as customise to suit specific needs.   

For example, an ecommerce company could integrate shipping provider data with its own data sets using a few lines of code, opening up the ability to then trigger coupon campaigns for customers experiencing late shipments. This is supported by Segment’s data governance tool, Protocols, to ensure any bad data is removed at the source, ensuring customer data can be standardised across the entire organisation.

Functions is now available in private beta and is being offered to existing Segment customers at no cost.

RedPoint raises US$13.5 million

CDP vendor, RedPoint, has raised US$13.5 million in its latest investment round to drive company growth and increased demand for customer data management solutions worldwide.

The latest cash injection was led by Camden Partners, with participants including both existing and new investors. The company said the money will fuel continued geographic expansion, deepen strategic partnerships and help it push through the noisy martech and customer technologies space.

RedPoint’s customer engagement solution includes its CDP, automated machine learning capabilities for real-time decisioning, and orchestration features to personalise and optimise moments of engagement.

“In a sea of technology claiming real-time and omnichannel engagement, we are the only software provider offering leading brands an enterprise-wide single point of control over data, decisions and interactions,” RedPoint CEO and co-founder, Dale Renner, claimed. “We’re now even more prepared to meet rising market demand and help brands close the gap between customer expectations and experience.”

Criteo highlights stronger results off MoPub deal

Adtech vendor, Criteo, is claiming strong quarterly results off the launch of its in-app native advertising deals with MoPub, Twitter’s mobile monetisation platform.

The vendor claimed the ad format is generating an average of 4X higher clickthrough rates than banner ads, leading to total conversions across MoPub inventory to increase 90 per cent from Q2, 2018 to Q2, 2019. The pair are now working to bring additional formats to advertisers via mobile in-app real-time bidding, including video.

“Mobile continues to be a major focus for Criteo, and just last year our app business grew 54 per cent year-over-year,”Criteo EVP of global supply, Marc Grabowski, claimed. “As we continue to invest in mobile-optimised creative formats, our relationship with MoPub is valuable to provide access to quality in-app supply.”

Robling launches new data-as-a-service platform

Robling is pitching its new data-a-service (DaaS) offering squarely at retailers, claiming it can speed up and simplify cloud-based analytics and reporting.

The new Robling DaaS managed services solution is designed to provide cloud-based reporting across merchandising, supply chain, ecommerce, CRM and financial systems. Key use cases, the vendor said, include optimising inventory management, improving localisation and increasing store sales and availability and supporting personalisation.

Robling co-founder and CEO, Jeff Buck, said the ambition is not just to reduce the cost of data warehousing, but help retailers turn it into a profit centre. To do this, the new platform includes a catalogue of retail metrics and KPIs, enterprise data model, and critical source data APIs and connectors.  

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