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The battle to make sense of the relentless stream of telemetry from the advertising world is heating up. Improvado just announced a $22 million series A round to fuel growth of its data analytics tool aimed at marketers. The no-code tool called the ‘Revenue Data Platform’ offers a mechanism to gather data across a range of sources and turn it into dashboards that deliver concise reports designed to make it easier to know which marketing channel is really delivering.
“Advertisers struggle to understand their ROI across multiple marketing platforms,” explained Rajeev Goel, the cofounder and CEO of PubMatic who is also an investor in Improvado. “By explaining that ROI clearly and quickly, Improvado’s technology serves an important function — and addresses an important market opportunity.”
The marketing world has certainly not lacked options for tools in this vein. Some rely directly upon data scientists who use a collection of standard tools that usually depend, in some way, on open-source languages like Python or R. These are frequently taught in schools and universities, in part because of their low-cost and open nature.
Now,coding tools are being eclipsed by low-code or no-code options meant to capitalize on the intense interest in data mining. Companies like RapidMiner, Knime, Datarama and Talend are just some that support this burgeoning demand. These integrate tools for collecting data, cleaning it and analyzing it. They’re marketed both to data scientists who value the simplicity and to non-coders who can work with the simplified user interface.
Marketing insights: A changing landscape
Lately, companies have been creating platforms that are purpose-built for making sense of marketing data. These are sometimes sold under the acronym CDP, for “customer data platform.” There’s a wide range of options and the market is still expanding as companies try to find the right mixture of features and connectivity to provide deeper marketing insights. Some of these leaders include Bloomreach, Klaviyo, Emarsys or Segment.
Improvado wants to differentiate itself by delivering more information than these platforms by focusing on marketing and the budgets allocated to marketing.
“Customer Data Platforms are often for B2C [business-to-consumer] companies.” explained Daniel Kravtsov, the CEO of Improvado. “We go beyond just customer data because we integrate marketing budgets with how much money you spend.”
A sizable part of their formula will also be finding a way to disambiguate the data that’s gathered from multiple channels and attribute credit to any successful sale. Improvado will offer multiple models that fit different sales strategies. Business-to-business [B2B] teams may want to give credit to the first channel that established contact. A B2C group may choose to give credit to the last ad that was seen just before the sales closed.
The software they’re developing is meant to be more of a hub than a platform. Improvado is integrated with more than 300 different data sources from different marketing platforms. The results are gathered, synchronized and analyzed before being pushed out to a reporting or visualization tool like Tableau, Looker or Google Data Studio.
“We can ingest your data into any data warehouse and we support all data transformation in SQL.” explained Karvtsov. “We are open data platforms that can connect to any BI tool and work with any data warehouse.”
The price for their new service will be based upon how much data the platform gathers and synchronizes. The company will also have a customization team devoted to helping new customers integrate their data flows. Many basic steps can be handled directly by the marketing team without much help from developers.
“Improvado is the best tool on the market,” said Waleed Noury, senior media analyst at Activision, an Improvado customer. “Improvado provided us with a simple solution to a complicated problem. Moreover, I have not seen any other platform that is as easy to implement as Improvado. The initial setup — connecting all of our media platforms — took under an hour. The remaining configuration of reports from those API connections took a week. We now rely fully on Improvado for multiple dashboards that we use for day-to-day marketing operations and strategy, as well as for presentations to executive leadership.”
A happy ending and new beginnings
There is one more thing. As a unique twist, Improvado’s CEO signed the paperwork for the company’s series A round on the same day that Kravtsov’s first child, a daughter, was born. His wife, who helped with some of the structure for corporate funding, went into labor and signed the final paperwork in between contractions.
The series A round was led by Updata Partners and follows a seed round funded by the CEOs of BlueKai, LiveRamp and PubMatic.
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Big Data and analytics