Summits Yellow

Investment Round: Collibra, SendBird, TrendKite and Alkami

Tim Maytom

Investment Round is our weekly update on which firms have secured new funding, which areas are seeing the most financing, and who is putting up the cash that enables these companies to keep pushing the capabilities of mobile marketing further.

Collibra completes $58m Series D financing to simplify data governance
With the spectre of GDPR looming over the whole industry, having a firm control over your data and understanding who can access it and where it’s being deployed is more important than ever before. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that investors have lined up to support data governance firm Collibra, helping it close a $58m (£42.8m) funding round.

The round was led by existing investors Iconiq Capital and Battery Ventures, with additional participation from early investors Dawn Capital, Index Ventures and Newion Investments. The company plans to use this latest investment to fuel its rapid growth, expanding staff and scale operations and building strategic partnerships and alliances. Alongside the announcement, the firm also added an independent director to its board, Phil Fernandez, a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was chairman and CEO of Marketo until recently.

“This Series D investment from some of the industry's most highly respected and succesful investment firms is strong validation of the ongoing adoption of data governance as a corporate discipline,” said Felix Van de Maele, CEO and co-founder of Collibra. “This investment also speaks volumes to our investors' confidence in the leadership Collibra has established in the data governance space and of our continues rapid growth.”

Collibra hasn’t revealed the firm’s new valuation, but the Series C round brings total investment in the company to over $133m to date. Collibra is already working with firms including Holland America, EMC and Verizon, helping them to understand what data they have, where they store it and what permissions they have for it, so this investment will no doubt see it targeting even more big brands with its services.

Chat developer SendBird raises $16m in Series A round
SendBird launched out of Y Combinator almost a year ago, and has spent the intervening time establishing itself as one of the key providers for developer tools that enable companies to quickly add chat functionality to their websites and apps. Now, the firm has announced it has raised $16m in Series A financing to continue its growth and develop more niche tools for specialised industries.

So far, SendBird’s SDK has been installed into over 7,200 applications across 153 countries, providing businesses with chat and messaging functionality. The Series A funding will go towards product development, improving customer experience and building the firm’s talent pool, with a focus on creating “cutting-edge conversational technology”, and providing additional functions and support to businesses using its platform.

The new round of funding was led by Shasta Ventures and August Capital, along with contributions from existing investors Y Combinator and Funders’ Club. The investment adds to an initial seed funding of $2.6m that the company received from Y Combinator, Funders’ Club, Justin Kan, Kevin Mahaffey, Sandy Kory and Nicolas Dessaigne. As part of the funding round, Doug Pepper, managing director at Shasta Ventures and Villi Iltchec, partner at August Capital, will both join the firm’s board.

“Our mission is to digitise human interactions for businesses,” said John Kim, co-founder and CEO of SendBird. “We understand that building and maintaining a richly featured chat requires serious commitment and resources. That’s why SendBird will continue to focus on a genuinely valuable and innovative product, built around the features that our customers need, at the scale they need.”

TrendKite closes in on $50m in funding with latest round
PR analytics startup TrendKite has raised another $11m in funding, bringing its total investment to date to $46m. The Austin-based company analyses over 4m articles a day to help brands and agencies measure the results of their PR efforts, calculating reach, highlighting impactful articles and helping to track changes in brand perception.

The latest round was led by Harmony Partners, and will be used to accelerate product innovation, with the aim of making the firm’s PR software as indispensable to CMOs as CRM or marketing automation software. The company has had a successful few years, reporting over 100 per cent revenue growth year-on-year and tripling its employee count over the past 12 months.

“The platform we’ve built gives us intelligence on every part of the media ecosystem,” said Erik Huddleston, CEO of TrendKite. “That’s important because consumers trust earned media more than they trust advertising, but marketers can’t predictably drive ROI from earned media. The intelligence in our platform will make earned media the most important part of the CMO’s media mix. That requires investment in innovation, and Harmony brings expertise that will help us make the most of that investment.”

Mobile banking software provider Alkami raises $70m in latest round
Texas-based startup Alkami has been gradually building a reputation for itself as a go-to provider of mobile banking app technology, working with credit unions and banks as a white label service. With 4.5m users now relying on the company’s technology, the firm has been able to draw in investors and complete a $70m Series D round of funding.

The round was led by General Atlantic, with existing investors S3 Ventures, Argonaut Private Equity and others also joining in the funding. The latest investment brings the company’s total funding to over $110m since it was founded in 2009, and will also see General Atlantic’s vice president Raph Osnoss and former MasterCard Worldwide CEO Gene Lockhart both joining the board of directors.

While many of the larger financial institutions are now building their banking apps in-house, there are plenty of smaller brands who still rely on third-party vendors, and with Alkami’s SaaS model, which charges based on the number of users per month, it’s hoping to help its customers reach new audiences by focusing on innovation and sales with the new funding.