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.
ContentSquare raises $42m to fund global expansion
ContentSquare, which describes itself as a SaaS digital experience insights platform, has raised a $42m (£29.7m) Series B funding round led by US VC firm, Canaan. Other investors who took part in the funding round included Highland Europe, Eurazeo and H14. The funding will be used to continue to grow ContentSquare’s business in the US and globally.
The company previously raised a $20m Series A round in the autumn of 2016, led by Highland Europe and supported by business angels from Seed4soft. Since then it has expanded globally, with offices in Paris, Munich, London and New York, and grown to over 200 employees. In that time, ContentSquare also saw more than 150 per cent revenue growth and added 120 customers worldwide, including Orange, Carrefour, Walmart, Tiffany’s, Clarks, and SNCF.
ContentSquare computes billions of touch and mouse movements every day in 191 countries, and transforms this knowledge into profitable actions designed to increase engagement, reduce operational costs and maximize conversion rates. Used by content, eCommerce, analytics, acquisition, IT and UX teams, ContentSquare aims to become the first fully automated, Artificial Intelligence-driven digital experience platform.
“Since our founding, we have been dedicated to understanding how and why consumers interact with their favorite brands’ website, mobile and apps – and to use that data to improve our customers’ digital experiences, measure content efficiency and, ultimately, increase sales,” said ContentSquare CEO Jonathan Cherki. “By improving and automating digital experience analytics, our innovative technology has become a secret weapon for some of the best brands all around the world. This round is a testament to the value we bring to our customers, and we’re very excited about our growth ahead.”
Matrixx secures $40m, lead investor joins software company’s board of directors
Matrixx Software has announced a $40m Series C funding round led by Sutter Hill Ventures. Stefan Dyckerhoff, managing director at Sutter Hill, will join the MATRIXX board of directors. Additional new investors include Spring Lake Equity Partners and strategic partner CK Hutchison. The round also included existing investors and strategic partners Greylock Partners, Adams Street Partners, Telstra Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.
MATRIXX’s Digital Commerce platform is a reinvention of telco business support systems that brings together typically separate applications for product design and lifecycle management, customer engagement, service delivery and monetization into a single platform.
The company has experienced 130 per cent year-over-year growth, adding new customers in N. America, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. This round of funding will be used to fuel the company's global expansion.
“We embrace the telco meets Silicon Valley ethos of MATRIXX Software,” said Dyckerhoff. “They’re empowering operators in ways no one else is, and their solution is packaged so that telco’s aren’t dependent on multi-year transformation projects. The industry has been saying for years that it needs a better, more repeatable model for transformation. We believe MATRIXX Software has the solution the industry has been seeking.”
Nexar raises $30m to fund its bid to create a world without car crashes
Nexar has closed a $30m funding round, led by Ibex Investors, with participation from Alibaba Innovation Ventures, US-based Nationwide Insurance and previous investors Aleph, Mosaic Ventures, Slow Ventures, True Ventures, and Tusk Ventures. Nexar said the investment further fuels its belief that the company can create a world without car collisions.
Nexar provides an AI-powered dashcam app that monitors road safety and driving conditions and sends real-time alerts to other drivers on its network. The company said it will use the funding to further its mission of eliminating car crashes and to expand its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network. The Nexar app can now also be paired with off-the-shelf dashcams to provide advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and collision prevention alerts to drivers. Nexar will also be providing critical data to insurance carriers and fleet providers, such as collision reconstruction and first notice of loss reports, which help expedite driver assistance and claims, and prevent fraud.
Since the launch of Nexar’s app in 2016, drivers in 740 cities across 160 countries have driven more than 100m miles with Nexar, with 10m miles driven in the last month alone. In New York City, Nexar is used by more than 10 per cent of the city’s ride-sharing drivers, and drivers using Nexar have seen a 30 per cent reduction in collisions. The company now sees every intersection in Manhattan every five minutes, essentially providing a complete digital scan of the city.
In addition to the investment, Nexar has appointed Walt Disney’s former CFO for Israel, Turkey, and Greece, Yoad Shraybom, as its CFO. He is joined by Marc Gaffan, who takes up the role of chief business officer.
Wipro strengthens Harte Hanks tie-up with $9.9m investment
Wipro, a global IT, consulting and business process services company has announced a $9.9m investment in Harte Hanks, a US-based global marketing services company. The move that expands their existing partnership to offer end-to-end marketing technology services to customers.
As part of their existing partnership, Wipro and Harte Hanks are jointly marketing Opera Solutions’ Signal Hub platform, a big data analytics and machine learning platform that enables clients to deliver a contextually relevant and personalised customer experience.
“Brands are now defined by the blend of all the experiences they deliver to their customers,” said Harte Hanks CEO, Karen Puckett. “Understanding the journey is the starting point, and it is marketing technology that facilitates the proper interactions at scale. Enterprises and brands are working hard to better understand their customer’s buying journey and are deploying technology to help them interact with customers in relevant, meaningful ways. However, CMOs are increasingly concerned about marketing's capability to acquire and manage technology effectively. This partnership squarely addresses those opportunities.”
Downstream secures $1.5m in seed funding, launches beta program
Downstream.ai, a San Francisco and New York-based company building a scalable, self-serve mobile programmatic advertising platform, has raised $1.5m in seed funding led by London Venture Partners. Olive Tree Capital, Otter Consulting, Gramercy Fund, Ride Ventures, Rising Tide, and a short list of prominent industry angels contributed to the seed round, which has allowed Downstream’s team to build out its turnkey platform and launch in beta. Paul Heydon, General Partner at London Venture Partners has joined Downstream’s Board.
“Marketers are looking for more control and transparency when buying mobile inventory and need a turnkey solution that doesn’t take months to implement or require expensive technical resources to maintain,” said Brendan Lyall, co-CEO at Downstream. “We developed Downstream to give marketers complete control of their programmatic advertising campaigns with a dashboard that requires no coding or customization to integrate and significantly decreases the cost to implement, while dramatically increasing the ROI from mobile marketing initiatives.”
The integration of Downstream’s intuitive dashboard allows agencies and in-house marketing teams to directly access inventory on major ad exchanges, leverage first- and third-party data securely, target consumers, and use proprietary auto-optimization software and a dynamic bidding algorithm. Marketers can upload their own creative campaigns, or use Downstream’s AI-driven creative builder to create and deploy new campaigns quickly.
“Downstream’s vision for the future of programmatic advertising places mobile marketers in the driver’s seat, giving them more control than ever before,” said Heydon. “In previously developing and launching Grow Mobile, Downstream’s founders are seasoned experts in developing and delivering highly efficient and scalable advertising solutions to the mobile ecosystem.”