Marketing & Advertising Solutions
AdAgility Raises $1.6M in Seed Funding
AdAgility, a leading provider of personalized, on-site and mobile, cross-selling solutions, announced that it has raised $1.6M to further accelerate its already impressive growth. Tim & Todd McSweeney led the investment with participation from existing investor Boston Seed Capital.
AdAgility has been working closely with Boston Seed Capital who brings years of specialized experience in backing profitable consumer and B2B marketplace companies. Peter Blacklow, a Senior Partner at Boston Seed Capital, will continue to advise the company...READ MORE
Raizlabs Acquires Find & Form
We are excited to announce that we’ve completed the acquisition of Find & Form, a Boston-based mobile app design and development agency. Find & Form’s clients included the popular wine app Drync, Boston startup Shuttersong, and a startup called The Collective which was founded by the CEO of StumbleUpon. We’ve been working with Find & Form over the last few months on a number of projects and we felt that the partnership could be extended and deepened through a strategic acquisition.
Both Raizlabs and Find & Form share a passion for excellence in digital products and mobile technology. The partners of Find & Form represent the core pillars of Raizlabs’ values. We believe that these elements are core to building and engineering great products: Mobile Strategy, Product Design, and Software Development. These elements have been central to both companies’ successes, and will continue to be central to our joint ability to create and build great digital products in the future. READ MORE
Brand Networks To Acquire Social Advertising Platform SHIFT
Brand Networks, the leading provider of relevance-driven social marketing and advertising software, today announced that it will acquire SHIFT, the award-winning platform for cross-network social advertising and collaboration, in a $50 million cash and stock deal. The acquisition creates the world’s leading social marketing platform with relevance at its core—powered by RelevanceRank, a proprietary technology also announced today. RelevanceRank is designed to help marketers achieve the highest possible levels of effectiveness and efficiency at every stage of the social marketing process.
With the acquisition, the Brand Networks platform will power over $500 million in social advertising spend for more than 650 of the world’s best known brands and agencies, such as Interpublic Group, WPP, American Express, AT&T, InBev, Discover, Yahoo! and Unilever. Customers include half of the Fortune 100 as well as 17 of AdAge’s 25 Most-Advertised Brands. This pushes the company to the forefront of an industry expected to top $16.2 billion in domestic spending by 2019. READ MORE
SessionM Secures New $12M Round of Funding
SessionM, the market leader in mobile-first loyalty and engagement solutions, today announced that it has closed a new $12M investment round led by Causeway Media Partners, a growth equity firm focused on investments in technology and media relating to sports founded by Boston Celtics principal owner Wyc Grousbeck, with additional participation from NTT Docomo Capital, Commerce Ventures and existing investors Highland Capital Partners, Charles River Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The investment is the latest milestone for SessionM, having seen its revenue double every year for the past three years while booking eight consecutive quarters of double-digit sequential growth.
“Our 1,500 app developer clients know that our platform keeps customers and keeps them engaged longer,” said SessionM CEO and co-founder Lars Albright. “Big brands now know that mobile is the central point for customer engagement and isn’t just about apps. With the SessionM mobile enterprise platform, they’re now able to act accordingly across the whole consumer experience to better engage, message and target their most valuable consumers. We do all this while integrating with existing solutions and in the process make the entire marketing stack more intelligent and effective.” READ MORE
Crayon Raises $1.5M
Crayon, the visual inspiration platform for marketers, announced today that it has raised a $1.5M round of angel investment to help marketers execute better digital marketing projects. The funding comes from top Angel investors in Boston, New York and San Francisco, including Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Mike Volpe, Eric Ries, Ed Roberts, Othman Laraki, Jonah Goodheart, and Jennifer Lum, among others. Common Angels and Boston Syndicates are also backing the company. The funding will be used to accelerate product development. READ MORE
Cintell Raises $800K in Seed Funding
Saas Startup Expands Team, Opens New Office In Downtown Boston, Launches Private Beta, And Announces Hiring Plans
Cintell, a customer intelligence platform used by companies to better understand their buyers, today announced that it has closed $800,000 in a Seed round of financing. The round was led by angel investor and entrepreneur Venkat Janapareddy, whose startup Gozaik was acquired by Monster Worldwide. The financing will be used to fuel product development, hiring, and user acquisition as the company continues to execute on an aggressive roadmap of planned features and functionality.
The announcement comes shortly after the company formally revealed its plans to bring buyer personas and customer intelligence to the cloud in early 2015. In that time, the team has expended to seven cross-functional individuals including a team of engineering resources and CTO, Data Scientist Shyam Vaidhyanathan to oversee technology operations. The company has also added marketing consultant Samantha Stone as an advisor to help Cintell clients formulate successful buyer intelligence strategies.
Cintell has also opened a downtown Boston office location, and earned local traction as finalists for Boston’s Best Startup award from Tech in Motion and the Babson B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®) Challenge. It also today announced open positions in customer success and engineering in Boston. More detail on career opportunities can be found at www.cintell.net/jobs
“The ability to continually understand buyers in ever-changing markets is such an important pressure facing B2B organizations today,” said Richard April, SVP of Marketing at Repsly. “This funding puts Cintell in a great position to disrupt the marketing technology space by giving marketers the tools to address this issue.”
The Cintell customer intelligence platform is currently being tested by customers in a private, invite-only beta. To request an invitation as either an end-user company or marketing agency, please visit http://cintell.net/beta-request
Swirl Closes $18 Million Investment
Swirl Networks, Inc., provider of the leading proximity-based indoor mobile marketing platform, announced today that it has raised $18 million in equity financing from Hearst Ventures, SoftBank Capital, Twitter Ventures and other strategic investors. Venture capital firm Longworth Venture Partners also participated in the round. The Series C round brings Swirl’s total funding to date to $32 million. The new capital will be used to expand Swirl’s sales and marketing operations and to fuel aggressive investment in product innovation to meet accelerating demand from major retailers and brand advertisers for beacon-powered indoor mobile advertising. Leading companies including Lord & Taylor, Hudson’s Bay, Urban Outfitters, Marriott, Alex and Ani, and Timberland use the Swirl platform.
According to BI Intelligence, beacons will be deployed by 85 percent of the top 100 U.S. retailers by the end of 2016 and beacon marketing will influence $44B in retail sales. By leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy and Apple’s iBeacon™ technologies, the Swirl platform helps retailers and brands deliver highly relevant digital content and offers to consumers’ smartphones while they shop in specific areas of a store. A recent consumer study by Swirl found that 73 percent of shoppers who received beacon-triggered content were more likely to make a purchase during their store visit. Swirl in-store mobile marketing campaigns are already generating strong results, with 60 percent of shoppers opening and engaging with beacon-triggered content and 30 percent redeeming relevant offers at the point of purchase. READ MORE
Interactions Raises $10M
As reported by Sara Castellanos and the BBJ, Interactions, a Franklin-based virtual assistant technology company that works to improve conversations between humans and automated customer service software, has landed $9.5 million in new funding. READ MORE from BBJ.
haystagg Announces More Than $600k in Investment
haystagg today announced the addition of several prominent investors - Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners and Kima Ventures, combining for a total investment of over $600,000. The company, a pioneer in situational targeting, welcomes these investors for their added business value and ongoing support in extending haystagg’s advertiser base.
haystagg is used by agencies and advertisers to significantly expand reach as well as performance in digital advertising campaigns, beyond the capabilities of other solutions in the market. Since cookies and digital fingerprints are poor representatives for consumers, haystagg replaces these outdated identifiers with an effective real-time approach to assess and capitalize on the value of each single ad impression for each advertiser. Early traction and a strong roster of clients are proof points that haystagg’s real-time situational targeting approach to digital advertising works, and it’s these compelling factors that attracted all three investors to the investment.
President, Michael Ouellette said “haystagg has fantastic resonance in the market – we beat our 2014 revenue targets and are on track to do the same in 2015. Our investors help us to create more products that advertisers will love. We highly appreciate that their networks open additional doors in the advertiser and investment community.”
Mark Cuban is an American entrepreneur and investor. Cuban counts the Dallas Mavericks, AXS tv, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures among his current holdings. He founded and sold MicroSolutions in 1990, for $6M, and Broadcast. com in 1999 for $5.6B. One of the “Sharks”, on ABC’s SHARK TANK, Cuban is a prolific investor, investing in a diverse portfolio of businesses.
Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners
Barbara Corcoran is the founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners. A “Shark” on ABC’s hit TV show, SHARK TANK, Barbara has personally invested in 22 businesses. Her newest book, SHARK TALES, gives readers a chance to look behind-the- scenes, into her life, her business and her very public venture capitalism.
The Kima Ventures fund was started in 2010 by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Their goal is to support and finance innovative companies across the globe with seed capital. Kima Ventures partners with the best business angels, venture capitalists and funds, and invests primarily in projects that meet a simple need and have a simple business model.
haystagg is the pioneer in situational targeting. This technology reveals untapped audiences inside and outside of known cookie-pools, dramatically extending the reach of ad campaigns across channels. haystagg’s precision targeting technology ensures every ad view meets the ideal combination of audience, content, time, geography & device. For more information visit www.haystagg.com.
Localytics Acquires Splitforce
Localytics, the complete marketing and analytics platform for mobile and web apps, today announced the acquisition of Splitforce, an automated optimization tool purpose-built for mobile apps. With the acquisition, Splitforce co-founders Zac Aghion and David Ruiz join the Localytics team, bringing additional data science expertise to fuel the company’s predictive app marketing capabilities. Predictive app marketing helps app marketers and product managers leverage user data to predict and personalize engagement with app users at every stage of the customer journey.
“Apps have dramatically increased consumers’ expectations for experiences catered to their individual needs, while giving businesses a new dataset to tap into for better decisioning,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics. “We’re focused on helping businesses turn that data into personalized engagement, and Splitforce has the best team and technology in place to deliver on the cutting-edge of that mission: predictive app marketing.” READ MORE
clypd Raises $19.4 Million Series B Round
clypd, the television industry's leading sell-side technology provider, today announced that it has secured $19.4 million in a Series B round of financing led by global media company RTL Group, with additional participation from Atlas Venture, Data Point Capital, Duke University, TiVo Inc., Transmedia Capital and Western Technology Investment. With approximately $30 million in financing to date, clypd's latest round of funding will accelerate growth of the company's industry-leading platform to help TV media owners in the adoption of programmatic TV.
The Series B funding will be used to expand resources across all departments at clypd, including product development, data science, business development, engineering and marketing. This will help create new technologies to support enterprise-wide sales solutions for television media owners. The capital will also be used to expand the business into new markets, including Europe and APAC.
"clypd is one of the first companies to create a strong platform for programmatic sales for linear TV in the U.S. It offers a unique set of tools to the market at a crucial time, when programmatic video sales are growing rapidly," said Rhys Noelke, Vice President Business Development at RTL Group. "clypd adds key TV sales competencies that will offer groundbreaking solutions for TV advertisers. We see great potential in the company -- in both the U.S. and Europe." READ MORE
Pixability Completes $18 Million Series C Financing
As global brands increasingly turn to online video marketing as a key revenue generator, Pixability, a video ad buying and marketing technology company, today announced it has closed a $18 million Series C financing round led by Jump Capital and Edison Partners, bringing total funding to $28 million. All existing investors, including Point Judith Capital and Quad Graphics, also participated in the round. Pixability has achieved a cumulative sales compound annual growth rate of 240% over the past five years. The cost efficiencies of digital advertising are leading global brand marketers to aggressively shift media allocations, particularly to online video. Worldwide digital ad spend is projected to reach $253 billion by 2018 (up from $145 billion in 2014); with U.S. digital video ad spend projected to rise by 30.4% this year alone, reaching $7.77 billion.
“The Pixability platform has allowed us to reach our core customers and target new passionate soccer fans with data-driven video campaigns that increase awareness of our new brand positioning and bring engagement to an unprecedented level,” said Hermann Hassenstein, Global Head of Communications Planning at PUMA. “With the targeting that Pixability delivers, we are able to achieve better results through online video in a more efficient way.”
The capital will be used to READ MORE
HubSpot Acquires Rekindle
As you may have seen, HubSpot has acquired Rekindle, a Boston based technology startup with unique IP and innovations that we believe will help HubSpot and our customers advance. But how? Below I’ve taken the time to share some of my thoughts on why we made this specific acquisition and how we view acquisitions like these as part of our commitment to rapid growth and transforming the marketing and sales landscape. READ MORE
Nanigans Raises $24M Series B
Nanigans, Inc., the leading worldwide provider of social and mobile advertising software and pioneer in advertising automation software, announced today that it has closed a $24 million Series B financing. The financing is led by Cheetah Mobile (NYSE:CMCM), the world’s leading mobile utility application developer. Also participating in this financing is current investor Avalon Ventures and new investor Wellington Management Company LLP.
The funding follows Nanigans successful transition to a true Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model. Said Nanigans co-founder and CEO, Ric Calvillo, “We’ve spent five years developing our advertising automation software, and for good reason. Automating digital advertising allows marketing teams to bring this critical function in-house, resulting in both significant performance gains and cost savings. Nanigans software enables customers to manage, measure, and optimize their online advertising across multiple channels. Our customers run over $500 million in annualized ad spend using our software, confirming our leadership position.” READ MORE
Cortex Raises $500k
CORTEX IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Company Exits Two-Year Stealth with $500K Round, Customers, and Aim to Eliminate Complexity
Boston, MA - March 25, 2015 - Cortex exits a two-year stealth period today with $500K in early-stage funding, disruptive technology, and multiple satisfied customers. Cortex is artificial intelligence for social media marketing that helps brands increase their return on investment in social via consolidation of tools, automation of redundant work, and adding data to a currently unscientific practice.
“We’re helping companies get more return from their time and investment in social. As a powerful efficiency software, Cortex helps social media managers and agencies be more productive while enjoying work more. Our average customer has seen a 400% increase in engagement and seven hours per user, per week of time saved,” said Brennan White, CEO of Cortex. “By creating more effective and creative social media content, we are making marketing less intrusive and more enjoyable for consumers. The outcome is targeted, timely, and welcomed.”
Coming from eight years in the agency world, White and Chief Revenue Officer Matt Peters were users and clients of all major SaaS social tools. Cortex was created after they realized that existing tools focused entirely on analytics and process management, selling patchwork solutions to small social problems, rather than solving the fundamental underlying issue in social: complexity.
“Cortex coming out of stealth is a dark day for analytics and publishing platforms. These companies make money as long as social is an involved, time-consuming, multi-step process. They have no incentive to simplify social media marketing,” said Peters. “Using Cortex, social teams worry about fewer pieces of the puzzle, get better results, and have more time to focus on the most important piece: creating compelling content. Due to Cortex’s AI, our customers know that competitors will be monitored, content will be promoted, and posts will be executed optimally across their social platforms - all automatically.”
Cortex has more than a dozen active paying customers, and this early-stage round is led by four main funding sources including: Josh Adler, founder & CEO, Sourcewater; and Jere Doyle, general partner, Oyster Angel Fund.
“I invested in Cortex because it will have huge impact for companies that are using social tools and thinking about ROI, consolidation, and time investment in social. Clearly, every company needs to think this way,” said Doyle. “Cortex has already been the driving force behind multiple companies becoming the clear best-in-class. I invite all forward-thinking brands to meet Cortex.”
Cortex is artificial intelligence for social media marketing. Our SaaS platform removes the need for point solutions, social analytics, and social media management tools via machine learning and predictive analytics. Brands and agencies are able to save an average of seven hours per user per week, while increasing social KPIs by up to 400%. Learn more about how artificial intelligence will consolidate your marketing toolset at www.meetcortex.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publicis Groupe Acquires Expicient
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC40] has acquired Expicient Inc. (Expicient), a leading global omni-channel services firm with significant expertise in inventory and order management systems (OMS), a capability that clients increasingly need to manage inventory, pricing and offers across channels for today's connected consumer who moves fluidly across digital and physical stores. Expicient will be integrated into the Publicis.Sapient platform under the Rosetta brand.
"Today's always-on consumer makes no distinction between devices and channels," said Publicis.Sapient CEO Alan Herrick "as a result our retail clients are increasingly looking for us to build systems -- inventory, supply chain, omni-channel commerce that enable the experience a 2015 consumer demands. Expicient joining Publicis.Sapient allows us to significantly strengthen our clients ability to integrate offer information, order information, inventory information and pricing information across channels, which is a significant change from a world where the on-line stores and physical stores operated separately." READ MORE
Localytics Raises $35M
Localytics, the only complete platform for app marketing and analytics, today announced it has raised $35 million in Series D funding, bringing its total investment to-date to $60 million. New investor Sapphire Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors Foundation Capital and Polaris Partners. The new funds will be used to strengthen Localytics’ predictive intelligence capabilities, which enable customers to truly personalize the user experience and improve engagement and retention in their mobile and web apps.
“Companies are struggling to keep up with the growth of apps. Most are unable to leverage user intelligence to improve how they acquire and engage users. Localytics’ investments in predictive app marketing will enable us to deliver the amazing, personalized app experiences that consumers have come to expect,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics. “And, with its deep history in scaling successful marketing technology companies, such as ExactTarget and Criteo, Sapphire Ventures’ expertise will help us continue building the leading solution for apps.” READ MORE
* Learn more about Locatyics on their VentureFizz BIZZpage!
Chitika Invests $4 million in Spin-Off, Cidewalk
Westborough-based Chitika Inc., an Internet advertising company, on Wednesday announced it will spin off its mobile advertising business unit, Cidewalk.
Chitika is investing $4 million to fund the spinoff, according to a statement, and Cidewalk has purchased office space in Southborough to accommodate staffing growth. Its new office is at 154 Turnpike Road, Southborough, in space formerly occupied by Bodyscapes Fitness.
Chitika expects Cidewalk, launched in 2014, to generate $10 million in gross revenue over the next year, the statement said. READ MORE
Ditto Labs Raises $1.3M
As reported by Sara Castellanos at Boston Business Journal, Ditto Labs, a Cambridge-based startup that offers businesses analytics on social media photos with brand names and logos in them, has raised $1.3 million, according to a March 3 regulatory filing. READ MORE
Linkable Networks Raises $11.7 Million in Funding
Linkable Networks today announced $11.7 million in funding along with three key executive team hires as the company positions itself for accelerated growth in 2015. In addition to driving enhancements to its core platform, the additional working capital enables Linkable to scale its direct to consumer loyalty platform that allows retailers and CPG brands to engage the next generation of shoppers.
To support acceleration and product enhancement, Linkable is planning to double its staff over the next six months with a focus on expanding development, client support and sales. The company welcomes three senior executives to its leadership team... READ MORE
InMoji Raises $1M
Today, Boston-based InMoji announced it has scored $1 million so it can connect consumers to brands through messaging.
Founded last year, the startup offers clickable icons — called InMoji — that live in a message and can connect you to, say, an offer from Nike.
Investors include David Chang with participation from Paypal’s Start Tank, Atlas Venture, and others. READ MORE from VentureBeat.
Read More about InMoji on VentureFizz from January.
Fluent Acquires Streak Media
College Marketing Agency to Expand Reach of Popular Student News Service to Campuses Around the Country
Fluent, a Boston-based college millennial marketing and insights agency, today announced it has acquired Streak Media, the daily online newsletter of campus-based, local and global news curated and delivered to college students and alumni of selected schools nationwide. By joining forces with and tapping into Fluent's established network of over 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities, Streak Media has the potential to evolve into a major mainstream college news source that appeals to college millennial's interest in instant, and easily-digestible information that's accessible from any digital device. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Just when digital media and social networks were starting to converge, Mike and his group of Boston College classmates found an ingenious way to capitalize on the value of immediate, hyperlocal information for campus audiences," said Fluent CEO Chip Rives. "Bringing this talented group of media entrepreneurs onboard is a natural fit for Fluent; it works perfectly within our mission of helping brands create useful, meaningful and lasting connections with college millennials, and that starts with understanding what the college millennial knows and cares about." READ MORE
Liaison International acquires Spectrum Edu Solutions
Liaison International, the leader in admissions management solutions, today announced that it has acquired Spectrum Edu Solutions, a leading provider of CRM and marketing solutions for higher education institutions. With the addition of Spectrum, Liaison’s offerings now span the entire lifecycle of enrollment management and student marketing and provides the most comprehensive solution on the market... READ MORE
Grapevine Secures $1.1 million in Seed Funding
As reported by VentureBeat, Grapvine, who connects brands with popular YouTube creators to drive sales, signups, and buzz, has secured $1.1M in Seed Funding.
“Grapevine helps products sell by using YouTube stars,” CEO and cofounder Brendan Lattrell told VentureBeat. READ MORE
Breakaway Acquires Crunch Brands
We are excited to announce that Breakaway has acquired the agency Crunch Brands, an exceptional multi-disciplinary team led by our new Chief Marketing Officer, Ted Schlueter.
Our mission has always been to help drive value for our portfolio companies and clients. Sometimes that’s investing capital or placing talent. Often it’s developing a new brand strategy, building exceptional creative assets, and activating it across a community. There is always a place these businesses want to go. It might be dominating their category, exponential growth or building towards an IPO. Whatever it is, we have engineered an incredible machine to get them there faster. READ MORE
*Learn more about Breakaway's story in our interview with Baldwin, CEO & Schlueter, CMO after the acquisition - HERE
Dun & Bradstreet Acquires NetProspex
Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB), the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, today announced that it has acquired NetProspex, the Massachusetts-based company that is a leader in B2B professional contact data and data management. The acquisition combines NetProspex's comprehensive professional contact database with Dun & Bradstreet's proprietary global business data and analytics.
"Dun & Bradstreet already provides our customers and partners the most comprehensive view of companies around the world, and now our customers can reach the largest, most accurate set of decision makers and decision influencers," said Bob Carrigan, president and chief executive officer and director of Dun & Bradstreet. "This acquisition fills a growing need for marketers by providing an actionable view of companies and the people who run them, putting quality relationship insight at the center of their marketing data strategy." READ MORE
SiteSpect Raises $13M in Funding
NewSpring Capital, a family of private equity funds, announced today that NewSpring Growth Capital, the firm's dedicated technology and business services growth equity fund, has invested $13 million in a minority financing in SiteSpect, Inc. ("SiteSpect"). This represents the Fund's sixth deal of 2014 as a closing was held on December 29, 2014.
This is the first outside funding received by the A/B and multivariate testing provider that incorporated in 2004. Since its founding, SiteSpect has been a recognized leader with its unique SaaS-based optimization technology that enables marketers, product managers and developers to test and optimize the entire digital user experience and increase revenue. Backed by a strong executive team and unique, patented technology, SiteSpect provides the only true enterprise-grade A/B and multivariate testing platform to the world's largest and most successful online brands. READ MORE
Swoop Raises $2.1M
As reported by Sara Castellanos at Boston Business Journal, Swoop, a Cambridge-based adtech firm, has raised $2.1 million from six undisclosed investors, according to a Dec. 22 regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. READ MORE
Adelphic Secures $11M Series B Funding
Adelphic, a leading mobile advertising demand-side platform (DSP), announced today that it has secured $11 million Series B funding that will enable the company to capitalize on the explosive growth in the programmatic advertising space. This round of funding was led by Blue Chip Venture Company, along with participation from current investors Matrix Partners and Google Ventures.
The advertising landscape is changing – 80 percent of digital advertising spend will switch to programmatic by 2017. Adelphic is a leading architect of this shift. The company’s patented technology has brought true programmatic buying to mobile at a scale and effectiveness not previously seen in mobile and, in so doing, has become the preferred mobile DSP for many of the world’s leading agencies and trading desks. READ MORE
Mavrck Announces $2.5M Series A Funding
Mavrck, out of Techstars Boston, today announced $2.5M Series A funding from GrandBanks Capital... READ MORE