Marketing & Advertising Solutions
Placester Announces $20M Series C
Placester announced its Series C today - a $20M round led by NEA, which also led the Series B. This round brings the company's total capital to over $50M. Placester enables the professionals who power residential real estate - real estate agents and brokers - to leverage the power of technology for the benefit of their businesses. With this round, we are truly the best-positioned company (capital and customers) to fulfill this mission at scale. Our partnerships this year with Keller Williams and Remax - the 2 largest real estate brands - are a testament to how the real estate industry (which is the largest industry in every city and state in this country) has embraced us. SOURCE
Placester: Making Real Estate Marketing Easy. Boston Startup Shows Exciting Growth
MAVRCK Closes $5 Million
Fueled By a Year of Rapid Growth, Micro-Influencer Marketing Company to Use Funding to Change the Way Brands Engage on Social
MAVRCK, the micro-influencer marketing platform for premier brands, today announced that it has raised $5 million in venture funding from Kepha Partners and GrandBanks Capital. The company, which powers brands to both identify and activate their most influential consumers at scale across multiple social networks, will use the funding to accelerate its growth as it continues to change the way brands engage consumers on social.
“MAVRCK is transforming digital marketing and advertising through its ability to drive measureable conversions on social and deliver authentic, targeted audience engagement independent of ad-blocking software and changes to social networks’ algorithms,”said Jo Tango, founder and partner, Kepha Partners. “As consumers’ use of social media continues to grow and mature, thecompany’s white-label micro-influencer marketing platform is one of the most effective ways to help brands reach their target customers and drive real business results.”
This funding, which brings the company’s total amount raised to $8.3 million, is just the latest milestone in a year filled with significant achievements. Along with opening its new headquarters and nearly tripling its team in size, MAVRCK officially launched its free Fan Grader analysis tool for brands to identify influential Facebook fans. The Company was awarded U.S. Patent 9026594 for the algorithm driving the company’s influencer activation engine, and unveiled its Instagram integration to its platform, analyzing more than one million posts in just the first two weeks of launching.
“Over the last year, we’ve focused on validating the micro-influencer model at scale with a number of leading brands and strategic industries,” said Lyle Stevens, CEO and co-founder, MAVRCK. “Now that we’ve proven one micro-influencer can get three friends to convert around a brand’s marketing objective, we’ve raised additional funding to grow our team in order to expand aggressively within target industries.”
Since December 2014, MAVRCK has grown its impressive customer roster to include more than 30 premier brands such as Gillette, Hershey’s, Bota Box, Hydro Flask and major agency partnerships with Mullen Lowe and GroupM, among others. MAVRCK has also activated more than 1 million micro-influencers to help companies to drive word-of-mouth at scale across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“Working with MAVRCK, we’ve been able to engage 600% more consumers than the Tom’s of Maine official Facebook page and Instagram accounts combined,” said Bridget M. Burns, social media strategist, Tom’s of Maine, a leader in natural personal care. “This has helped us outperform paid social media engagement, while collecting valuable feedback on our products and company from our most influential customers. We continue to use MAVRCK’s platform as an always-on strategy that enables us to regularly engage and interact with our micro-influencers, who are helping us spread our passion for goodness.”
For more information on MAVRCK’s micro-influencer marketing platform, which was recently recognized as MassTLC’s 2015 Innovative Technology of the Year in the Sales & Marketing category, please visit: www.mavrck.co.
MAVRCK’s micro-influencer marketing platform powers premier consumer brands to drive word-of-mouth at scale on social media. The company’s proprietary influencer activation engine is trusted by premier brands to identify and activate their most influential customers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information, please visit www.mavrck.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
--- RELATED: MAVRCK – the Digital Marketer’s Wingman ---
Appcast Raises $5 Million
Lebanon, New Hampshire-based Appcast, a pay-per-applicant job ad exchange, has raised $5 million in funding. Point Judith Capital led the round with participation from IrishAngels and Baird Capital. In conjunction with the funding, Sean Marsh, co-founder and general partner of Point Judith Capital, has been added to Appcast’s board of directors.
SnapApp Raises $12M Series A
SnapApp, the leading SaaS platform used by B2B marketers to create, publish, manage, and measure interactive content, has received $12 million in Series A funding from Providence Equity Partners.
“Buyers are increasingly demanding visual and interactive content that educates and guides them in evaluating solutions to their business challenges,” says Seth Lieberman, CEO of SnapApp. “Historically building these kinds of experiences has been slow, expensive, and hard to scale. Marketers need solutions to quickly and easily build interactive experiences that deliver more value for their audiences and more value for themselves.”
SnapApp’s “marketers-first” platform delivers the industry’s widest range of interactive content types – including calculators, assessments, quizzes, interactive infographics, and even interactive videos – in a single place. “At CEB, we’re always trying to challenge our customers – and we needed a solution that empowered our marketing team to build experiences that not only conveyed the value of CEB but also drove marketing results for the sales team,” says Rob Chen, CMO of CEB. “With SnapApp, the creation process has been shortened from months to minutes while giving us a holistic and analytical view into what’s working and why.”
With this round of funding, SnapApp will make creating these kinds of engaging experiences more accessible than ever to B2B marketers – without the time and expense of custom development or agency outsourcing. SnapApp’s partnerships and integrations with leading players in the MarTech stack, including Oracle, Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, and more, enables marketers to create experiences and content that drives more revenue, faster.
“The SnapApp team has invested deeply in understanding and meeting the needs of B2B marketers focused on delivering ROI,” says Mark Hastings, partner at Providence Equity. “The platform is a key addition to the marketing technology stack, serving as a bridge between content creation activities and business metrics. We believe that experiences will increasingly be front and center for marketers of all shapes and sizes, and SnapApp’s impressive traction is proving that out.”
SnapApp is an interactive content creation platform that enables marketers to boost results by 2-3x across all their existing marketing programs. SnapApp empowers marketers to create, deploy, manage, and measure a wide range of interactive content across multiple channels, with full customization and design control to ensure content looks great on any device. SnapApp customers include Oracle, Cisco, EMC, CEB, Blackbaud, PTC, and Equifax.
Endurance International Group to Acquire Constant Contact
Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:EIGI), and Constant Contact, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTCT) today announced that the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Endurance International will acquire all of Constant Contact's outstanding shares of common stock for $32.00 per share in cash, valuing Constant Contact at approximately $1.1 billion. The value represents a multiple of 12x 2015 estimated adjusted EBITDA, including cash on its balance sheet. Including expected synergies, this represents a multiple of 7x 2015 estimated adjusted EBITDA. The offer represents a premium of approximately 23 percent over Constant Contact's closing price of $26.10 on October 30, 2015. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
Benefits of the proposed transaction include:
- Expansion of Endurance's position as a leader in the small business marketing space from web presence to online marketing services;
- Extension of the company's product portfolio of solutions and integrated products for its millions of subscribers through the addition of Constant Contact's suite of online marketing tools such as email marketing, events management, social media integration, and contact management systems;
- Strengthening of Endurance's core capabilities by combining with Constant Contact's competencies as a trusted and distinct brand focused on product and subscriber engagement; and
- Enhanced operational and financial scale.
Importantly, the transaction brings together two long-standing Massachusetts companies, aligning the shared foundation built on the technology and talent of both.
"We couldn't be more pleased to welcome Constant Contact to our team and our family of brands. We have long admired Constant Contact and its strong management team, and all that it has accomplished in building a great product set, as well as building an influential culture and team. Their focus on the customer and product development complements our offerings for small business services, and expands our ability to address the needs of SMBs. We know that once small businesses have a web presence, they look for other products and services that will help them to grow their business. We see an opportunity to help our growing subscriber base meet their goals through an integrated suite of solutions, and we are excited to add this talented team to our roster," said Hari Ravichandran, president and chief executive officer of Endurance.
"Our team has always been passionate about helping small businesses do more business. Joining the Endurance family of brands will allow us to extend our reach and be a better partner to small businesses across the globe. We have long shared a parallel path—from our focus on SMBs, to technology, to talent—and we believe this transaction will build continued value for all constituents," said Gail Goodman, chief executive officer of Constant Contact.
Financial & operational impacts:
This transaction, combined with Endurance's recent purchase of its largest co-located data center from ACE Data Centers, is expected to result in:
- Fiscal 2015 combined pro forma adjusted revenue of approximately $1.1 billion
- Fiscal 2015 combined pro forma adjusted EBITDA of approximately $350 million
- Fiscal 2016 combined pro forma adjusted revenue growth of approximately 10 percent to 12 percent
- Fiscal 2016 combined pro forma adjusted EBITDA of approximately $400 million
- Acceleration of the delivery of long-term financial targets
- Subscriber base of over 5 million paying subscribers
The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016, and is subject to Constant Contact shareholder approval, and other customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Constant Contact shareholders will be asked to vote on the proposed transaction at a special meeting of shareholders that will be held on a date to be announced. Endurance expects to finance the transaction with fully committed debt financing of $1.085 billion. The purchase price will be paid entirely in cash to Constant Contact shareholders.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as legal advisor, Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as lead financial advisor, and Allen & Company LLC and Credit Suisse also acted as financial advisors for Endurance International Group. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor for Constant Contact. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as lead financial advisor, and Raymond James and Associates acted as a financial advisor for Constant Contact.
For further information regarding the terms and conditions contained in the definitive merger agreement, please refer to Endurance's and Constant Contact's Current Reports on Form 8-K, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with this transaction.
Endurance International Group management will discuss this transaction on the company's previously scheduled third quarter 2015 financial results conference call and webcast, scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, November 2, 2015. To participate on the live call, analysts and investors should dial (888) 734-0328 at least ten minutes prior to the call. Endurance International Group will also offer a live and archived webcast of the conference call, accessible from the Investor Relations section of the company's website at http://ir.endurance.com.
LogMeIn Acquires LastPass for $125 million
LogMeIn, Inc. (Nasdaq:LOGM) today announced that it has agreed to acquire LastPass (incorporated as Marvasol, Inc.), the popular single-sign-on (SSO) and password management service. A high growth business with millions of loyal users and an award winning product line, LastPass will immediately bolster LogMeIn’s position in the multi-billion dollar identity and access management (IAM) market, while accelerating one of the company’s key strategic growth initiatives. The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks.
The future identity market is being shaped by realities that come from end-user driven adoption of cloud, web and mobile apps – the bring-your-own-app (BYOA) trend -- and increasingly decentralized approaches to managing identity in the workplace(1). Seventy (70) percent of companies report using employee-introduced applications (as opposed to IT introduced and company procured applications) in the workplace. This is especially relevant to IT professionals and businesses since eighty (80) percent of cloud applications and services contain sensitive regulated or company confidential data (2). Meanwhile, approximately two-thirds (64 percent) of internet users use the same passwords for most or all websites (3).
LogMeIn is building a product and go-to-market strategy that embraces this BYOA reality and introduces new ways to help individuals and businesses secure access to sensitive information. The LastPass acquisition is expected to play a key role in this effort, is highly complementary to LogMeIn’s existing identity portfolio, and offers a natural extension to LogMeIn’s leadership position in the access market.
“LastPass has a great business, a beloved and award winning product, millions of loyal users, and thousands of great business customers – they are synonymous with the category,” said Michael Simon, LogMeIn’s Chairman and CEO. “We believe this transaction instantly gives us a market leading position in password management, while also providing a highly favorable foundation for delivering the next generation of identity and access management solutions to individuals, teams and companies.”
Following the close of the deal, LogMeIn plans to bring complementary capabilities of its early identity management investments, including those of Meldium, which it acquired in September 2014, into LastPass. In the near-term, both the Meldium and LastPass product lines will continue to be supported, with longer-term plans to center around a singular identity management offering based on the LastPass service and brand.
“LogMeIn and LastPass share a great common vision on reshaping identity and access management in ways that not only increase productivity but also improve security for individuals and companies, alike,” said Joe Siegrist, CEO of LastPass. “The striking commonality between our businesses, our products, and cultural DNA make this a great fit for both teams, and we believe a great win for our customers.”
Under the terms of the transaction, LogMeIn will pay $110 million in cash upon close for all outstanding equity interests in LastPass, with up to an additional $15 million in cash payable in contingent payments which are expected to be paid to equity holders and key employees of LastPass upon the achievement of certain milestone and retention targets over the two-year period following the closing of the transaction.
Verndale Acquires Dustland
Verndale Acquires Dustland to Create One of the Largest Independent Marketing Technology Agencies in the Industry
Acquisition expands Verndale’s global presence and their ability to offer unmatched strategic, creative and technical services.
Verndale, the marketing technology agency that is pioneering the way people and brands connect, today announced that it has acquired Dustland, one of the fastest growing digital agencies in Los Angeles. With the acquisition, Verndale expands on its already robust capabilities and service offerings, deepening its ability to design, implement and manage virtually any branded customer experience on any channel, device or technology platform. Verndale also increases its headcount by 20 percent, making it one of the largest independent marketing technology agencies in the U.S., with almost 200 full-time employees in six offices across the country and two internationally.
“We are committed to tirelessly evolving and expanding Verndale's capabilities so that our clients can stay ahead of the wants and needs of their own customers,” said Chris Pisapia, co-founder and managing partner of Verndale. “Being the first call for brands who want to more meaningfully engage with their customers is a testament to Verndale’s ability to deliver user-centric experiences that cross channel, device and geography. At the same time, the technology backbone must be in place to tightly manage these experiences. With the addition of Dustland's exceptionally talented team, we provide our clients with all this and more. Brands who want to evolve and transform faster than their competitors need to look no further than Verndale.”
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Boston, Verndale has a successful track record designing, building and evolving customer experiences for global brands like Stanley Black and Decker, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment and Carnival Cruise Lines. Dustland has implemented digital experiences for marketing trailblazers like HBO, Volkswagen, Visa and Taco Bell. From Dustland, Verndale gains leading creative and mobile application development talent, and expands its geographical footprint to both the western region of the United States and Quito, Ecuador. The combined company will have strong capabilities in marketing strategy, creative design services and back-end development and implementation, strongly positioning it to compete with other top digital marketing agencies. Growing rapidly, Verndale expects to double revenue in 2015 as compared to 2014.
According to Gartner, by 2020 the customer is expected to manage 85 percent of its relationship with an enterprise, bypassing human interaction. This makes the quality and reliability of the customer experience paramount to the success of a business. A long-time Sitecore platinum partner and one of the first EPiServer partners in the United States, Verndale offers unparalleled strategy, experience design, technology and post-launch managed services. Further, it understands the operational, organizational and technological demands an enterprise faces when it extends and manages sophisticated customer experiences. Verndale can work across both centralized and siloed business units to create a cohesive backend strategy that both technology and marketing departments can champion.
“The marketing technology agency space is extremely crowded as marketers race to take advantage of the newest digital and mobile innovations that will help them engage and retain their coveted audiences, but few agencies set up brands to do this well. Verndale stood out to me because it blends strategic, creative and technological expertise in a way that is unmatched,” said Minh Le, CEO of Dustland. “I’m thrilled to combine our all-star team with theirs and have full confidence that our teams will together change the way people and brands connect for the better.”
Dustland and its employees are now part of Verndale and will continue to operate from its Los Angeles office. Le will join Verndale’s leadership team as a managing partner running the west coast operations. He is an industry veteran who before founding Dustland, worked at Razorfish and has experience leading large scale projects for clients such as Singapore Airlines, Ingram Micro, Intermec, Sony, DaVita and Viking River Cruises.
Verndale is the marketing technology agency that brands call when they want to connect with their customers in a more meaningful way. It designs, builds and evolves digital experiences that mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies use to bring their products and services to life for their always-on customers. Offering unparalleled strategy, experience design, technology and post-launch managed services, Verndale works across departments and platforms to create and sustain cohesive experiences that both marketing and technology leaders love. One of the largest independent agencies in the industry, Verndale is headquartered in Boston with five additional offices across the U.S. It counts some of the most recognizable brands in the world as customers including Stanley Black and Decker, The Ohio State University and Carnival Cruise Lines. For more information, visit www.verndale.com
Dustland is a Los Angeles based digital agency with a rare combination of creative and technology talents that enable the company to deliver compelling brand experiences that build equity and maximize the effectiveness of the digital channel. As a certified Sitecore Partner, Dustland focuses on the successful planning and implementation of customer experience solutions. Our clients include Great Clips, Honda, VW, Cisco, UCLA, USC and The Ohio State University.
ChoiceStream Raises $14 Million
ChoiceStream, a provider of programmatic advertising for brands and agencies, today finalized a $14 million Series C funding round. This round is led by a new investor, North Atlantic Capital, and includes follow on investments from previous investors. ChoiceStream will use the investment to further develop its successful managed services offering, launch an expanded self-service product to bring the power of programmatic into the hands of brands and agencies and boost the Company’s international expansion efforts.
“Over the last year we have taken a number of bold steps to establish ChoiceStream as a genuine technology leader in the hypercompetitive programmatic advertising industry,” said Eric Bosco, CEO, ChoiceStream. “As a company we have developed much of our foundational technology in house, which has been a significant advantage for our clients as well as the company. Our tremendous success that we’ve had with our clients, thanks to the effectiveness of our proprietary technology, has compelled our investment partners both new and old to double down on their investment in the company. We are excited to continue to execute on the plan that we started in 2011.”
The Series C investment marks ChoiceStream’s third financing round since the company’s 2011 transformation into a pure-play advertising technology company. ChoiceStream runs programmatic advertising campaigns for brand and agency clients, managing each phase of a campaign, from pre-launch planning to completion. Through the collection of poll-based, proprietary data specific to each client’s campaign, via Pollshare, ChoiceStream creates custom, targetable audiences, optimizes results in real-time and provides unique audience insight throughout each engagement. Leveraging world-class machine-learning algorithms, via the company’s Thunderdome programmatic optimization platform, in combination with a team of in-house industry experts, ChoiceStream boasts a client retention rate – well above the industry average.
“ChoiceStream’s singular approach to creating targeted branding and performance campaigns that both reach and move consumers makes them a disruptive force in the competitive advertising technology industry,” said David Coit, managing director, North Atlantic Capital. “We are strong believers in the leadership of ChoiceStream’s executive team, and combined with their impressive Pollshare and Thunderdome platforms, we fully believe that our partnership will be a successful one.”
ChoiceStream is a digital advertising partner that manages and optimizes targeted branding and performance campaigns to reach and move audiences that are easy to describe but hard to find. By qualifying audiences before a campaign begins and continuously refining targeting in real-time, this partner exceeds metrics and drives brand awareness. ChoiceStream streamlines complicated programmatic campaigns with a combination of its proprietary polling platform, optimization technology, dynamic creative, and dedicated team of industry experts. For more information, visit www.choicestream.com.
About North Atlantic Capital
North Atlantic Capital is a later stage venture capital firm based in Portland, Maine, investing in enterprise technology companies. North Atlantic provides creative financing structures to high growth companies with differentiated technologies that address large market opportunities. Established in 1986, North Atlantic is currently investing its fifth fund, raised in 2014. Past and current investments include iContact, IDEXX Laboratories, Tangoe, VideoBlocks, Vivisimo, Voxeo, and WEX. For more information on North Atlantic Capital and their current investment activities, visit www.northatlanticcapital.com.
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 email@example.com.
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