The MarTech Minute: Acquisitions by Dun & BradStreet and Nielsen, Oracle names new CMO
The martech week in review: News and announcements in marketing technology this week that you might have missed.
MarTech Minute briefs always appear first in our daily newsletter throughout the week. Click here to subscribe. The following is our compilation of the past week’s briefs from those newsletters.
Meredith Corp picks up some new tech. The women-focused media company Meredith Corporation has acquired digital platform SwearBy. The tech enables brands to crowdsource word of mouth recommendations, giving Meredith the ability to share products that women “swear by.” The media company said it will expand on SwearBy’s current features, functionality, categories and distribution. “We have a rich community of our own editors as well as respected influencers who regularly share their favorite products and services. SwearBy immediately provides us a platform to host these recommendations as well as offer consumers the ability to easily store and share their own SwearBys with friends,” said Meredith’s Chief Digital Officer Catherine Levene. Financial details on the acquisition were not disclosed.
Dentsu Aegis Network beefs up their analytics capabilities. E-Nor, a Google Analytics platform, has been acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network, a portfolio of digital agencies. The analytics platform will be part of Cardinal Path, Dentsu’s marketing analytics branch. “We are bringing together business-critical, geographically diverse, and difficult-to-find talent which will further extend our delivery scale and thought leadership within the Google Marketing and Cloud market,” said Cardinal Path Co-CEO Alex Langshur about the acquisition. Cardinal Path was purchased by Dentsu in 2016. The company reports this latest acquisition will help it scale its analytics offerings and competitive positioning.
Soul Machines raises $40 million in funding. Soul Machines, an autonomous animation platform, has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Temasek, with participation from Lakestar and Salesforce ventures. The company’s technology enables brands to create interactive customer experiences, as well as digital versions of brand ambassadors and employees, via AI, computational brain models and experiential learning. “We’re proud to announce Salesforce Ventures’ investment in Soul Machines because it has an obsessive focus on improving customer experience by using artificial intelligence technology in new ways,” said Salesforce Ventures Head of Australia Rob Keith. The company plans to put the funding toward its global expansion efforts and research and development initiatives.
Elastic Path expands coverage with acquisition of Moltin. API-based platform Elastic Path announced that it has acquired Moltin. Moltin employees — including engineering, customer support, sales, marketing and operations — have integrated into Elastic Path from its offices in Boston, MA and Newcastle, England. “Moltin brings a considerable amount of net-new technology to Elastic Path, including multi-tenant SaaS microservices, intuitive business user tooling, and new ready-to-use commerce experiences,” said Harry Chemko, CEO and co-founder of Elastic Path.
Affiliate marketing provider Partnerize raises $50 million. Affiliate marketing and automation platform Partnerize announced a $50 million growth financing round led by Accel-KKR. The platform, which offers brands solutions including co-marketing programs, performance deals with publishers, influencer marketing, loyalty programs and affiliates, currently supports over 300 brands. It seeks to smooth partnership management for brands including telecommunications companies and airlines.
InfoSum and zeotap announce partnership. First-party data platform InfoSum announced a strategic partnership with global identity and data platform zeotap. Through this partnership, the tech companies hope to offer brands a compliance-driven solution to improve data analysis. “In the matching and sharing process, there is a significant amount of effort and cost in matching the data,” said Bret Leece, global chief data and innovation officer at Havas Media Group. “Often, the match does not produce the desired scale or the additional data doesn’t add value. The partnership will enable our clients to securely match their first-party data and explore integrations with other data partners, before costly integration.”
Dun & Bradstreet acquires Orb Intelligence. Business data and analytics provider Dun & Bradstreet is acquiring digital business identity and firmographic provider Orb Intelligence. Orb Intelligence provides a global database of information and attributes on over 55 million companies, including web domains, URLs, IP addresses and social networks. “The acquisition of Orb Intelligence cements our strategy to link the digital and physical worlds in the largest global repository of B2B data and to provide enriched firmographic data to customer profiles to help our clients more effectively execute campaigns to improve customer interactions and revenue returns,” said Michael Bird, president, sales & marketing solutions at Dun & Bradstreet.
Nielsen acquires analytics provider from Alliance Data Systems Corp. Nielsen Global Connect has purchased SaaS-based retail and customer data application Precima. Nielsen plans to use Precima’s consumer loyalty and retailer solutions to expand its portfolio of personalized and addressable pricing, promotion and assortment capabilities. Precima’s loyalty programs, retail relationships and employees will be integrated into the Nielsen Global Connect organization.
PlumSlice Labs and Cloudinary announce new partnership. Product experience management and supplier collaboration-provider PlumSlice Labs and media management provider Cloudinary are partnering to provide digital product information and media asset management services for retailers and wholesale brands. “Today’s consumers expect media-rich, personalized experiences and brands are eager to deliver these modern experiences seamlessly, and as easily as possible,” said Gary Ballabio, director of business development, Cloudinary. “We were pleased to partner with PlumSlice to ensure that our joint retail customer — one of the world’s biggest luxury retail brands — benefited from a modern tech stack designed for today’s needs.”
On the Move
Oracle has named the former VP of worldwide marketing for Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ariel Kelman, as its new CMO, reports CNBC. Kelman’s move to Oracle is a likely win for the company which has long been an AWS competitor. Kelman will be replacing Rupal Shah Hollenbeck who recently exited Oracle. According to Kelman’s LinkedIn profile, he was the co-founder and VP of marketing at Ventaso, a customer Message Management (CMM) solution, from 1998 through 2004. Prior to being with AWS, Kelman held roles at Salesforce and MicroStrategy.
The search SaaS company Elastic has appointed Sally Jenkins as its new CMO. She will lead global marketing, brand strategy, corporate communications and customer and partner marketing efforts for Elastic’s portfolio of solutions which include Elasticsearch and Elastic Stack. “Sally brings strong marketing experience in the enterprise data, cloud and security industries, and she is a veteran at helping companies scale,” said CEO Shay Banon. Jenkins comes to Elastic from Informatica where she also held the role of CMO, and has served in marketing leadership roles at VMWare, Symantec, Autodesk, Sun Microsystems and Apple.
Ben Brewer has been named chief revenue officer for Nintex, a process management and automation solution. He will lead direct and partner sales for new and existing Nintex customers, as well as the company’s global sales organization which is comprised of teams within North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. “We can’t wait to see what Ben and his team will achieve across the global Nintex community in 2020,” said CEO Eric Johnson. Before joining Nintex, Brewer was with SAP Concur, overseeing its SMB division — a unit comprised of 1,100 employees and more than $200 million in annual bookings.
The online review and user-generated content platform Bazaarvoice has named Keith Nealon CEO, replacing Joe Davis who served as the company’s CEO after it was purchased by Marlin Equity in 2018. (Davis is a part of Martin Equity Partners agency.) “Keith is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with a strong track record leading successful, client-focused growth. His technology and go-to-market experience is the ideal match for the business needs of Bazaarvoice,” said Davis. Before joining Bazaarvoice, Nealon was the chairman and CEO for Vyze, a fintech platform. He began his new role the first of this year and is based in Bazaarvoice’s headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Lori Schafer has been named CEO of PlumSlice Labs and will join the product content management platform’s board. “We’re thrilled that Lori is joining PlumSlice to lead our team of retail technology experts. Her passion and knowledge of our market is unparalleled. Lori knows how to define and achieve success for promising young companies and brings a vision for establishing PlumSlice as a best-in-class supplier,” said PlumSlice founder Abnesh Raina. Schafer, who began her career at Procter & Gamble, has held various CEO roles for early-stage, high-growth companies and is a former board member of the NRF.
Aventri, the meeting and event technology provider, has recruited Jim Sharpe to be its new CEO. He is replacing Oni Chukwu who will move into an executive chairman role and remain on the company’s board. “We’re delighted to have him remain on the board to continue helping to chart the future of the company,” said Rich Lawson, the chairman of Aventri’s board, about Chukwu’s new role, “We’re also very excited to welcome Jim Sharpe to lead Aventri’s best-in-class executive team and continue to grow Aventri’s footprint in the global meeting and event technology space.” Sharpe was most recently with Gerson Lehrman Group, serving as its GM and managing director. He has also spent time as CEO for Standard Purification, a manufacturing business.