Marketing TechnologyMartech news roundup: Databricks and Gong.io funding, Twitter earnings, new Facebook Ads segments

Martech news roundup: Databricks and Gong.io funding, Twitter earnings, new Facebook Ads segments

Roundup of top news in martech from the week of Feb 4–Feb 11, 2019.

In our roundup of last week’s martech news, we highlight:

  • Databricks raises $250M (at a $2.75B valuation) for their unified analytics platform.
  • Gong.io raises $40M for voice recognition tech in CRMs.
  • Twitter released their Q4 2018 earnings reports. They’re now tracking monetized daily active users (mDAUs) over monthly active users.
  • Facebook Ads now lets you target household incomes based on US ZIP code averages

Top stories in marketing technology last week:

Databricks raises $250M at a $2.75B valuation for its analytics platform

What it is

Last week, Databricks announced it had raised $250 million Series E funding, bringing their total valuation to $2.75 billion.

Databricks offers a unified analytics platform, which “unifies data science and engineering across the machine learning lifecycle from data preparation, to experimentation and deployment of ML applications.”

In other words, they do advanced analytics and data engineering for some big name brands.

The company has around 2,000 customers, including Nielsen, Hotels.com, Overstock, Shell, and HP.

With this funding, they hope to expand into the Asia Pacific region, where overall cloud usage is growing fast. They also hope to move into more verticals like mass media and entertainment, federal agencies, and fintech firms.

Their total funding is now $498.5 million.

Why it matters

The team that built Databricks were also the original creators of Apache Spark, which they built in 2009 at UC Berkeley.

According to their website, Apache Spark is now the largest open source community in big data, with more than 1,000 contributors from 250+ organizations.

Spark has been used by companies such as Netflix, Yahoo, and eBay to “process multiple petabytes of data clusters over 8,000 nodes.”

Now, the team at Databricks continues to use — and has even monetized on top of — Apache Spark with certain advanced features offered via their new platform.

Gong.io raises $40M for voice recognition tech in CRMs

What it is

Gong.io is a San Franciso- and Israel-based intelligence platform for CRMs.

Most CRM technologies require sales people to manually update information or add notes from a call. AI has streamlined some of that, but Gong.io goes a step further.

Their tool monitors all customer-facing interactions and provides insight (using natural language processing (NLP) into why a deal sold or failed.

They’ve just announced a $40M Series B funding round.

Their total funding comes to $68 million.

Why it matters

Tools such as this might give incredible insight to managers, sales people, founders, product developers, etc. who are trying to figure out why certain deals don’t work and certain ones do.

The company’s founder told TechCrunch that they currently have 350 customers, more than triple from 2017. He also says that there is almost zero churn.

Twitter earnings reports, now tracking monetized daily active users (mDAUs) over monthly active users

What it is

Twitter released its Q4 earnings reports from 2018 last week.

They beat revenue expectations: $909 million reported versus $868.1 million expected revenue. For all of 2018, they had more than $3 billion in revenue.

One interesting note of their report was that they’ll be focusing on monetized daily active users (mDAUs) in the future. After Q1, they will stop reporting their monthly active users.

Twitter defines mDAUs as “Twitter users who log in and access Twitter on any given day through Twitter.com or our Twitter applications that are able to show ads.”

Why it matters

Their choice to focus on this metric points to their focus on ads overall. Monthly active users include a wider audience of users who don’t see ads. mDAUs don’t include those users.

Here’s a handy graph from Rich Greenfield on the growth of Twitter’s mDAUs over the years.

Beyond this, Twitter also reported a 33% increase in ad engagements, as well as a 7% decline of cost-per-engagement.

Out of Twitter’s total ad revenue of $791 million, $425 million was generated from the US.

Facebook Ads now lets you target household incomes based on US ZIP code averages

What it is

Facebook added a new layer of ads targeting in their Ads Manager. Now, you can target ads based on household income, according to averages by US zip codes. This is publicly available data.

The four new segments available are Top 5% of zip codes, Top 10%, Top 10-25%, and Top 25-50%.

As Facebook explains:

“For example, the top 10% audience represents the top 10% of US ZIP codes when ordered by average household income. It doesn’t represent the top 10% of households (or people) in the US.”

Why it matters

Ad targeting based on income has long been an industry practice. But these segments stand out in how they’re based on zip code data, and how they’re being made accessible to the more than six million monthly advertisers who use Facebook.

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