Following a $12 million cash injection, digital technology firm eXelate look set to move online advertising up a gear by using big data to ‘create’ audiences for savvy online marketers. This latest Series C funding will allow global expansion and allow eXelate to develop the concept of ‘big data’, looking into how it can be used to generate and replicate target audiences and speed up customer buy-in. eXelate has also admitted the cash may also be used to acquire ‘complementary’ businesses too.
This latest round brings the total raised by the New York firm to $32 million, following a $15 million B round in 2010. The 2012 round of funding is headed up by NewSpring Capital, whose partner Glenn T. Reiger will join the eXelate board, as well as Menlo Ventures, Trident Capital and Carmel Ventures.
The company, which announced +300% revenue growth in both 2010 and 2011, provide digital advertisers with data on purchase intent, behavioural habits and household demographics that enable them to make effective marketing decisions.
The data itself comes from established offline players such as Nielsen and Nielsen Catalina, Bizo and Mastercard Advisors among others, and includes data from over 400 million unique consumers, as well as eXelate’s own online behavior analysis, and this latest round of investment will allow eXelate to look into a number of emerging market trends – notably custom modelling and more flexible audience intelligence.
Custom modelling involves the use of existing customer information as a ‘seed’ to develop further relevant audiences and speed up the purchase process. By employing this technique, eXelate can use existing customer data to identify groups who display similar behaviors and who are therefore potential customers. This audience creation would surely make any online marketer get a little excited and keep eXelate up there as a hot ticket?
By using adaptive audience intelligence, marketers can see how consumers are interrelating with brands and modify target models quickly so they can adapt to customer perception. By using both of these tools together online advertisers have an opportunity to become more responsive to consumer needs.
CEO Mark Zagorski believes this latest development represents a giant leap forward for online marketers, who can now begin to move away from the ‘cookie cutter segmentation’ approach to audience targeting, to more fluid style that meets the client’s needs and not vice versa.
Zagorski said: “I think we are just scratching the surface with regard to how big data can be applied to making messaging smarter for advertisers and consumers.
“Today, companies look for obvious demographic and behavior patterns that lead to higher relevancy and ad performance, but they remain in the early stages of digging up trends from seemingly unassociated events.
“This takes a serious investment in data scientists and infrastructures that are specifically focused on ad targeting. That investment is holding back companies, but there are signs that the situation is changing.
“Going beyond ‘the platform’ and actually providing solutions will be critical in supporting marketers and helping them get the value of big data,” Zagorski continues. “The innovations will come through solutions partnerships, not just by selling technology.”