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MessageGears, a cloud-based customer engagement platform, raises $62M – TechCrunch

Dan Roy, a former software engineer at Delta, says he’s seen first-hand the challenges companies face when moving from an on-premises model to a software-as-a-service business. Accucast, where he served as CTO after leaving Delta, struggled with this as it pitched software and services for email marketing. He came to believe that the solution was a hybrid approach – one that directly accesses brands’ first-party data instead of relying on cloud data synchronization.

Roy founded MessageGears in 2011 with co-worker Taylor Jones to produce this solution. The company’s platform uses data where it is in the format it is already in to provide businesses with a suite of cloud-based marketing tools.

“This approach was adopted by early adopters such as Expedia and Rakuten, but has really started to gain traction as more brands have started moving proprietary data to more modern cloud data warehouses such as BigQuery, Redshift, and Snowflake,” Roy told TechCrunch in an email interview. . (In computing, a “data warehouse” is a system used for reporting and data analysis.) “The ‘old way’ of copying and synchronizing data between systems has diluted the benefits of these solutions for major brands. »

MessageGears, which today announced it has raised $62 million in a funding round led by Long Ridge Equity Partners, offers features such as customer segmentation and marketing message personalization. The platform can orchestrate the delivery of messages across different channels (think email and SMS), leveraging data stored in existing data warehouses.

According to Roy, the goal is to improve overall customer engagement by personalizing brand experiences. It’s easier said than done. A recent report published by London Research and BlueVenn found that, globally, only 29% of companies in contact with their customers felt they had implemented a seamless experience on their digital properties. A separate survey by Omdia highlighted data visibility issues; 55% of respondents said silos prevent a holistic view of their customer experience data.

“While the main users of MessageGears are marketing teams, marketing operations and data teams are usually great champions throughout the sourcing process,” Roy said. “Technical teams can help marketing deliver world-class campaigns without sacrificing data security. They don’t have to worry about timing or lag and can give marketers the flexibility to build audiences and campaigns using live data.

Companies might be hesitant to run customer data through a third-party service like MessageGears, especially in light of the global rise in data breaches. Roy insisted brands don’t have to copy sensitive data into a separate silo, saying MessageGears only decrypts customer records for the purpose of running campaigns and “removing sensitive data” visual dashboards of the platform.

“All campaign filtering and segmentation runs in the customer’s data environment. Only the data needed to personalize a message is transmitted to our cloud environment,” added Roy. “All personally identifiable information (PII) is encrypted both during transmission and at rest. Additionally, all PII and campaign data is redacted immediately upon delivery.”

MessageGears competes with customer engagement software vendors including Batch, which raised $23 million last year to expand its customer segmentation and messaging services. It has another rival in MoEngage, which landed a $30 million investment last December for its tools for analyzing and organizing multi-channel campaigns. Not to mention Iterable, Cordial, Oracle Responsys, Adobe Campaign, Emarsys and Zeta Global.

It’s safe to say that MessageGears has a foothold in the market, with a customer base of over 50 companies that includes Expedia, T-Mobile, Rakuten and Chick-fil-A. Roy didn’t respond to a question about MessageGears’ revenue and burn rate, and said the startup has no plans to grow its workforce by 102 people by the end of the year. . But he claimed the startup is positioned for growth.

“With the economic headwinds, tech companies in particular are downsizing and battening down the hatches, which will slow down innovation,” Roy said. “The pandemic accelerated the growth of MessageGears as retailers and other consumer brands accelerated and prioritized digital transformations and sought to become more efficient while differentiating themselves to their customers with relevant and personalized offers… MessageGears benefits corporate brands in three ways: cost savings, efficiencies and [d]further customization.

Argentum Group and Atlanta Ventures also participated in MessageGears’ latest growth round, which brought the startup’s total to just over $80 million. As part of the fundraiser, Angad Singh from Long Ridge has joined the MessageGears board.

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