Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Adjust, Propellernet, NextPlay Technologies Inc. and more

Adjust, a mobile marketing analytics platform,  has announced it has launched an app marketing collaboration on Salesforce AppExchange, empowering mutual customers to gain a more complete view of the user journey and to make more informed marketing decisions. The first integration to launch will be with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Marketing Cloud). The data integration with Marketing Cloud will enable customers to create a user journey from an email directly to in-app with Adjust’s deep linking technology. This connection will give customers marketing measurement insights to increase installs, revenue, and lifetime value (LTV).

Digital growth specialist, Propellernet has been appointed by Superdry as their retained Digital PR agency following a competitive pitch. Propellernet is tasked with executing creative campaigns that support Superdry’s brand messaging, whilst building high-quality links that will accelerate digital growth across multiple markets. The agency was appointed not solely on its strong Digital PR credentials, working with the likes of PureGym, Uswitch and Boomin, but also based on shared values. Superdry’s ambition to become the most sustainable listed global fashion brand by 2030 is matched by Propellernet’s radical climate action which formed an integral part of its B Corp certification earlier in 2021. To celebrate the new partnership, Propellernet has planted 1,000 trees for Superdry in the digital agency’s reforestation projects in Madagascar and Mozambique. 

NextPlay Technologies, Inc. has announced the formation of NextCapital, Inc., a consolidation of NextPlay’s financial services, fintech, and insurtech operations including its majority ownership of Longroot Limited — which controls Thai SEC-authorized Initial Coin Offering portal Longroot (Thailand) Company Limited — and wholly-owned NextBank International, previously International Financial Enterprise Bank (IFEB) headquartered in Puerto Rico. Appointed to lead NextCapital as Chairman and acting CEO will be NextPlay co-Chairman J. Todd Bonner, a former co-founder and director of Pacific Century Insurance Limited Hong Kong, which was sold to Fortis Insurance Asia in 2007 for approximately $900 million.

DRIFE, the world’s first decentralised ride-hailing platform, announces the opening of its Initial DEX Offering (IDO) on 6th August 2021. Powered by blockchain, DRIFE’s disruptive taxi platform empowers both drivers and riders, bringing fairness and transparency to ride-hailing services for the first time — alongside crypto-progressive Bitcoin payment options in the future. DRIFE is already in discussions with representatives from El Salvador —  which will recognize Bitcoin as legal tender from 7th September 2021 — to determine the next steps for registering in the country.

KX has announced a partnership with Alpine F1 Team as the official supplier of real-time analytics software and services. The KX technology enables real-time data capture and analysis of millions of data points across thousands of sensors for split-second decision-making during races, as well as for off-track operational improvements. The announcement comes after an 18-month project where the KX streaming analytics platform was deployed across the entire Alpine F1 Team organization, in France for the power unit and in the UK for chassis and transmission. KX software is used to capture and analyse data across driver simulators, wind tunnels, dynometers, telemetry instruments and sensors. With its ultra-high performance, extreme low latency and incredibly small footprint, the KX platform can capture, analyse, model and visualize track data faster than a live video stream can be broadcast from a race.

MoEngage, the Insights-led customer engagement platform, has announced a fresh fundraise of $32.5M USD led by Multiples Alternate Asset Management, with participation from their current investors, Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital and Matrix Partners. As part of this funding round, MoEngage also completed an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) buyback of $1.5 million for its current and former employees to acknowledge their belief in the vision and contribution over the years. MoEngage plans to utilize the additional capital to accelerate its global growth strategy and further strengthen the product’s AI and predictive capabilities.

Shutterstock, Inc., a global creative platform offering full-service solutions, high-quality content, and tools for brands, businesses and media companies, has announced the availability of its data (images, 3D, video and associated metadata) on AWS Data Exchange, a service that makes it easy to find, subscribe to, and use third-party data in the cloud. The announcement follows the launch of Shutterstock.AI, a newly formed subsidiary with insights and data at the heart of its mission. The availability of Shutterstock.AI’s data on AWS Data Exchange will allow customers, from tech startups to industrial giants, to train computer vision models at scale with precision, advancing their computer vision technology. Shutterstock.AI will initially offer a series of training datasets to AWS customers on AWS Data Exchange. The datasets include collections of images and 3D models from Shutterstock.AI’s library of 400 million visual assets, along with metadata backed by rigorous human and AI review. 

A large-scale study of the impact of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on online advertising and intellectual property rights on the online advertising market has now been published by the European Commission. The European Commission facilitated a MoU on online advertising and intellectual property rights (IPR), which was signed in June 2018. This voluntary agreement between companies and associations from the advertising industry – including advertisers, intermediaries and interested stakeholders, such as IP right holders – seeks to minimise the placement of advertising on websites and mobile applications which infringe copyright or disseminate counterfeit goods by engaging cross-party stakeholders to collaborate and share best practice. Following the first study published in 2020, White Bullet was commissioned by the European Commission to conduct a study for 2020 to evaluate the estimated amount and type of online advertising on IP-infringing websites; to estimate the ad revenues collected by IP-infringing website owners; and to analyse the impact and effectiveness of the MoU on the online advertising market. 

ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time payments and digital payment software solutions, today announced an expanded multi-year strategic alliance with Microsoft to deliver payments solutions in the cloud. The alliance will accelerate and expand ACI’s cloud payments offerings in Microsoft Azure as more financial institutions (FIs) embrace digital transformation. With global demand for SaaS-based payment offerings increasing, ACI and Microsoft will closely collaborate on innovations that empower FIs to launch new solutions, add new services to their existing platforms and deliver those new capabilities more quickly and with greater agility. They will also provide FIs greater efficiency of operations, scalability, data protection, data sovereignty and better user experiences—ultimately creating new revenue streams.

This summer, Grant’s Whisky has come together with VICE to create an inspiring and engaging guide for groups of friends that helps them tackle real life problems with advice, tips and hard-hitting stories from informed, yet relatable, experts. Uncommon worked on the strategy behind the original idea which VICE then went on to make. The ‘How-to…’ content series offers an unconventional and original view on how to be a better crew member, enabling friends to share knowledge and advice, to help them go further together. The ‘How to Crew’ series from Grant’s, in partnership with VICE, will launch globally throughout the Summer of 2021.

Over £270b is spent every year on digital ad spend as companies seek to engage consumers online using the latest technology to enhance their user experience and make purchases. AdTech business BLKBOX is launching their intelligent media platform to help companies make this ad spend go further and faster for them. Their SaaS-based intelligent and automated media buying platform generates profitable campaigns and scale ad spend 3x while reducing the time taken to manage end-to-end media buying from 6 hours to just 6 minutes. The BLKBOX intelligent media buying platform will initially focus on social media ad spend, chiefly on Facebook ads. Their reach will broaden over the coming year to encapsulate Google, TikTok, Snapchat, Apple, Twitter and Ad Networks.

Contentsquare has partnered with global restaurant chain Pizza Hut, to help the brand optimize customer experiences across its digital channels. The Digital Ventures team at Pizza Hut leveraged Contentsquare’s customer behavior insights to make meaningful discoveries as to how consumers interact with certain areas of their website. Since adopting the platform, the team has identified several opportunities to drive experimentation, tailor personalization, and optimize customer journeys across the Pizza Hut site.

Hootsuite has announced its acquisition of Heyday, a Montreal-based conversational AI platform that enables brands to deliver personalised customer experiences through 1:1 messaging conversations. Commerce is rapidly moving onto social and messaging platforms. Hootsuite, a pioneer in the social media management category, has the largest customer base in the industry and with this acquisition will now allow brands to fully leverage conversational AI to create a better customer experience.

A West Midlands full service advertising agency is proving that its expertise knows no international boundaries after securing three major global ‘wins’ – worth more than £600,000 in fees. M3, which operates from offices in Albrighton, Birmingham and London, beat off competition to secure a major campaign for a Swiss-based pharma specialist, brand implementation for additive innovator Polygiene Group and digital marketing for PESI Inc. The latter provides cutting-edge education services for mental health, rehabilitation and healthcare professionals and turned to the growing agency to help it support the international roll-out of its new brands and suite of products, including books, courses and digital seminars. An ambitious SEO and PPC strategy will form most of the initial activity, whilst the US-based firm will also tap into direct marketing, social media activity and content generation support.

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Patrick Collister: More is less

Patrick Collister, NDA’s monthly creative columnist, is the Curator of The Caples Awards, Editor of Directory and a friend to Ad-Lib.io.