One of the more generously funded areas in the technology industry is predictive analytics. Depending on your perspective that is either a frothy bubble just waiting to burst or an indication of a massive market opportunity that people are jumping to get on board with. Regardless of how you view it, news today that one of the predictive analytics vendors, EverString, has raised $65 million is an indication of something. The round is probably the largest ever Series B investment in a marketing technology company -- that certainly indicates that valuations generally are stratospheric but also likely indicates something about EverString itself.
The company launched only 15 months ago after being founded back in 2012 and essentially takes some big data infrastructure (Hadoop) but delivers it in a user-accessible way. The promise is the ability to extract the value of big data, but without all the complexity of setting up and running Hadoop clusters. Delivered as a software-as-a-service intelligence layer, EverString collects customer data based on buyer signals, then uses data science and artificial intelligence to define each company’s ideal customer profile. This audience selection capability is then integrated into the sales process to delivering predictive demand generation, lead scoring and ad targeting.
This last offering, ad targeting, is a new product being introduced today. As can be expected, the product enables marketers to convert anonymous intent into an engaged prospect, and to proactively identify and target optimal audiences.
“I started EverString with the vision that artificial intelligence would someday play a critical role across the entire sales and marketing process,” said Vincent Yang, CEO and co-founder of EverString. “I’m excited to see yet another extension of this vision being realized from the top of the funnel and beyond with our platform. Integrating ad targeting is an important piece of our value evolution as it enables us to deliver predictive all the way through the prospect to customer journey, enabling EverString users to attract, engage and convert leads.”
I guess he would say that, wouldn't he? The fact of the matter, however, is that increasingly these sort of marketing technologies are important to eek out better efficiencies and efficacies from a marketing budget. With consumers getting ever more savvy, and commercial organizations increasingly looking to very granular targeting as the way to overcome that savviness, predictive platforms such as EverString will continue to gain attention.
Of course, the question remains as to whether a standalone predictive marketing solution, as opposed to analytics built into marketing solutions such as Marketo, is best. I suspect we might see a period of consolidation down the line. For the moment, however, it is all about a land grab. This cash helps EverString position to territory.
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