The customer data platform market size is expected to grow to $15.3B by 2026; that’s just the platform market. The value of the data that these platforms contain is worth much more; when this data is harness correctly, the value increases even more. Providing personalized experiences has become of paramount importance to brands in today’s demanding digital environment but managing the data intake, processing, and management process has become n tedious task for many, especially at scale. mParticle is a customer data infrastructure platform that allows businesses to manage the massive data opportunities available, through a single platform, allowing them to focus on delivering superior customer experiences rather than spending valuable internal resources managing data. Organizations can manage data from disparate sources, ensuring that data quality is preserved, privacy requirements are maintained, and the data is accessible to all facets of the organization. With a single API, teams can access customer data as well as sync data with 300+ marketing and analytics APIs. The data-infrastructure-as-a-service platform is trusted by organizations across a breadth of industries; clients include Klarna, NBCUniversal, Spotify, and Airbnb. AlleyWatch caught up with mParticle CEO, Cofounder, and serial entrepreneur Michael Katz to learn more about how the digitization during COVID has changed customer behavior to make customer data solutions critical for brands, strategic plans, latest round of funding led by Permira.
Data and Analytics
Francis Bacon is credited with using the phrase “knowledge is power” in the late 16th century. 400+ years later, the phrase is still very applicable. The advent internet of the internet has exponentially increased the amount of information available both publicly and privately. AlphaSense is a market intelligence platform for corporations that uses NLP and AI to extract relevant insights from over 10,000 premium business sources that include analyst research, transcripts, SEC filings, and news sources. The platform saves businesses countless hours and ensures they are not missing potentially market-moving content. The company has built a strong presence within financial institutions, where the timely synthesis of information can translate into millions of dollars, but the platform is versatile enough to be used in any application that relies on mission-critical information. The company works with 1800+ customers, including a large portion of the SP 500, and the team has scaled to close to 500 employees since its founding in 2011. AlleyWatch caught up with AlphaSense CEO Jack Kokko to learn more about the company’s impressive traction, strategic plans, latest round of funding led by Viking Global Investors and the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language and it has been the gold standard used to communicate with databases since it was pioneered at IBM in the 1970s. Materialize, a streaming SQL database company, allows businesses to take the already known SQL commands and apply them directly to datasets in real-time, instead of querying databases. Unlocking insights straight from data results in fewer steps, making the data more valuable as there are no lags and results are provided continuously instead of a single point in time as with traditional querying. Materialize is best suited for instances when the same query is repeatedly asked as found in dashboards, reports, automation, and most application code across any setting or industry. The company’s developer community is nearing 1000 members and employee count has grown 63% in the last six months as the company prepares to move into its new headquarters at the old Slack New York offices. AlleyWatch caught up with Materialize CEO and Cofounder Arjun Narayan to learn more about how the company is making streaming data accessible without specialized knowledge, future strategic plans, and latest round of funding led by Redpoint Ventures.
The evolution of a successful company involves a typical storyline that goes from the founding team focusing on product and growth at the earliest stages to the founders’ roles transitioning to storytelling and finding, engaging, and retaining the right talent after product-market-fit is established. Eventually, as company roles become more specialized, many companies are hiring Chief People Officers (CPOs) to manage the strategy of building and retaining exceptional talent with a focus on hiring, training, professional development, and performance management. Knoetic is a platform built for Chief People Officers by Chief People Officers. The platform is a workforce analytics platform that also has its own professional social network of 1000+ Chief People Officers that are able to support one another and provide best practices. The analytics side allows CPOs to take an unprecedented data-driven approach to their roles. The company is emerging from stealth but has its roots in another startup that combined analytics and community founded by the same team – Twine. AlleyWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Joseph Quan to learn more about the business, strategic plans, and recent round of funding led by Accel.
Cannabis sales eclipsed $17B in 2020, setting a new record for annual sales and the economic impact of the marijuana industry is expected to surpass $92B in 2021. CAGR for annual sales is estimated to be at least 20%+ by most estimated until 2030 with more and more jurisdictions, including New York, moving towards legalization. Sophisticated specialized services to cater to the needs of cannabis brands and businesses are emerging to address this nascent but ballooning market. Surfside is an end-to-end customer acquisition platform built specifically to address the needs of the cannabis industry. The company prioritizes the collection, use, and synthesis of first-party data to power its customer data platform and layers that data with its demand-side platform to power tailored campaigns across all devices. As a result of regulatory restrictions, cannabis businesses are not able to effectively leverage conventional advertising means and Surfside provides a packaged, unifying, and compliant solution to build and scale demand generation. The company now has over 1,000 dispensaries and over 100 brands using the platform. AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder Jon Lowen to learn more about the inspiration for the business, the company’s strategic plans, and recent round of funding from Casa Verde Capital.
The pandemic has pushed more and more consumers online with both online sales and the percentage of online share of total retail sales surging globally. While this created a windfall for many e-commerce businesses it also drove up customer acquisition costs, making LTV even more important. Using technology to quickly, efficiently, and accurately understand the science of behavior when it comes to customer interactions has become instrumental for the health of e-commerce and retail businesses. Bluecore is an AI-driven retail marketing platform that helps brands and retailers create personalized campaigns based on the analysis of millions of customer data points. By understanding a customer’s experience throughout their journey, retailers are able to focus on creating loyalty rather than churning through single-purchase low-value customers. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Fayez Mohamood to learn more about why the e-commerce industry needs a native marketing solution, the company’s impressive growth, future plans, latest round of funding which comes at a $1B post-money valuation from Georgian, FirstMark, Norwest, and Silver Lake Waterman.
More than 40% of homebuyers experience some form of remorse within two years of their purchase. The digital area has transformed the purchase experience with 9/10 house hunters relying on the internet as their primary research source. While there are a plethora of destinations where you can go to find the basics of a property (size, # of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.), Localize takes it one step further with a repository of unique data for each property to ensure that buyers are well informed about what will likely be the biggest investment of their lives – their homes. For buyers, the platform provides proprietary intelligence on factors that impact the homeownership experience but are not routinely disclosed in listings or easily apparent during a showing like architectural styles, amenities, building policies, light exposure, and crime, in addition to the property details you would expect to find. The startup also offers a lead generation platform for real estate agents so that they connect with interested buyers right at the moment they are ready to view their ideal properties. AlleyWatch caught up with President and COO Omer Granot to learn more about the inspiration for the business, how the platform leverages technology and data to simplify the home buying process for both agents and purchasers, the company’s expansion plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Pitango Growth Fund, Avigdor Willenz, Zvi Limon, Maor Investments, and Celesta Capital Fund.
Homeownership and real estate are often cited as one of the primary drivers of creating intergenerational wealth in the United States. Amid the pandemic, Americans went on a homebuying spree as the line between work and home blurred. Owning a home can be extremely rewarding but it does come with significant responsibility. Realm is a centralized data hub for homeowners to access insights on every aspect of homeownership, based on their personalized circumstances, enabling them to make data-driven decisions for what will likely be the single largest investment of their lives. The platform, launched earlier this year, leverages proprietary and public data to assess value (both current and potential with renovations), estimate project costs, and learn more about financing options. In California, homeowners can work with Realm advisors to work on renovation projects from beginning to end. In the six months since launch, the Realm has been used by 20,000+ homeowners across the nation. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Liz Young to learn more about scaling consumer data applications in the real estate space, the company’s strategic plans, and the latest round of funding from investors that include GGV Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Lerer Hippeau, and Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures.
Market research has been driving strategic decisions for companies for decades. However, the tools and models that have been predominantly used have not adjusted to reflect today’s digital age and today’s consumer environment. Suzy is a modern, digitally-native enterprise market research platform built for the sophisticated needs of today’s brands. Offering on-demand insights, the company has shifted the pricing paradigm away from cost per response to a SaaS offering with licenses to customers, providing more flexibility and predictability. By integrating technology onto the platform, Suzy is able to deliver actionable insights much faster in an easy-to-use end-to-end cost-effective solution. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO, serial entrepreneur, and Founder Matt Britton to learn more about the genesis of Suzy from his agency days, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding from investors that include H.I.G. Capital, Foundry Group, Rho Ventures, BDMI, and Triangle Peak Partners.
The pandemic has accelerated innovation for drive-thru experiences. Before the pandemic, drive-thrus at quick-serve restaurants (QSR0) accounted for 50-75% of a store’s revenue. The pandemic caused that to jump to 90-95%. Technology is now focused on addressing the velocity of traffic and optimizing capacity. omniX Labs is an analytics platform for vehicle traffic for businesses to better understand customer behavior in and around their vehicles. Without the need for additional hardware, the platform takes a location’s existing camera systems and uses the video feeds to analyze vehicular activity using machine learning and AI. omniX can be used for things like upselling, improving conversion, optimizing efficiency, detecting fraud, and forecasting. The company has focused on servicing car washes, with over 1200 locations using omniX, but the technology is versatile enough to be used in other settings like car repair shops and restaurants. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Anoop Kanthan to learn more about how omniX Labs is focused on making vehicle analytics accessible without hardware, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include C2 Ventures, EverWash, and Newark Venture Partners.
Online content consumption has doubled since the start of COVID from 3 hours and 17 minutes to just under 7 hours a day according to DoubleVerify. Online video consumption is said to have quadrupled. JW Player is a leading video infrastructure software platform that allows content producers to control, manage, and measure their mobile, OTT, and web video applications. The player is also now equipped with monetization options for video publishers that are coupled with the company’s data analytics that offers advertisers precision targeting options. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Dave Otten to learn more about how the company has evolved from an open-source solution that was used to power the initial YouTube platform, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding from LLR Partners.