Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: exactly., Acxiom, GWI and more

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Ambitious payments solutions provider exactly. has secured a major partnership by adding Apple Pay to its list of integrated payment systems – empowering merchants to process transactions via one of the most popular mobile payment systems worldwide. The integration of Apple Pay offers exactly. customers an even more convenient and secure way to manage their finances and payment methods – enabling purchases through Apple Wallet apps. Digital wallets have become an increasingly preferred option among buyers as they allow for fast, online payments from smartphones without repeatedly inputting personal card details. The speed and ease of Apple Pay means exactly. merchants will not only increase their customer reach – but also reduce cart abandonment rates and improve their checkout conversions.

Acxiom, the customer intelligence company, has announced its partnership with MetaRouter, a specialist in Customer Data Infrastructure. The partnership will see Acxiom implement MetaRouter solutions that will enable customers to better define their first-party data strategies in a world-facing cookie deprecation. Combining MetaRouter’s data delivery strengths with Acxiom’s integration expertise, the two companies help brands refine first-party data strategies and develop effective customised marketing technology stacks. Working together, Acxiom and MetaRouter provide streamlined data management and advanced analytics while prioritising ethical data practices. This approach empowers clients to fully harness their owned data, resulting in more informed decision-making, precise marketing reach, and increased customer trust and return on investment. Showing early promise, Acxiom and MetaRouter are already working with a growing number of clients to solve their pressing need for strong first-party data strategies.

New research from GWI, the global consumer research platform, shows Facebook Marketplace could become the go-to when it comes to second-hand purchases. Whilst eBay remains the undisputed champion in the second-hand market, with 54% of Brits using it, Facebook Marketplace has emerged as an unassuming leader. Over a quarter (27%) of UK shoppers are now using the platform to purchase pre-owned items, making it more popular than second-hand and vintage heavyweights, Vinted (21%) and Depop (5%). These findings come in light of the HMRC crackdown on second-hand ‘side hustles’, which means sellers making more than £1,700 a year – roughly £140 a month – will be taxed. 

Together Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship have announced an extended partnership that will scale coverage of every race of motorsport’s most exhilarating electric racing series to the widest possible audience across 50 markets in Europe. The multi-year agreement will extend WBD’s relationship with Formula E beyond 12 years since Eurosport first broadcast race coverage from the 2015 season. As the pan-European home of Formula E, WBD will harness the full scale of its premium television channels (Eurosport 1 and 2), streaming platforms (Max, discovery+, the Eurosport App and Eurosport Extra), digital sites (Eurosport.com) and its free-to-air networks* to provide live and on-demand coverage of every lap in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship while telling the stories of its protagonists throughout the season. WBD will be the exclusive broadcaster of Formula E in eight markets including the UK, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Spain and Turkey, while also providing live race coverage in Italy for the first time since 2020.

In a strategic move that anticipates the imminent shift in digital advertising, Zeotap Data, a provider of people-based digital audiences, has announced a partnership with Illuma, the leader in AI-powered expansion and optimisation. This collaboration offers a new tactic in the face of third-party cookie deprecation. Zeotap and Illuma have teamed up to create a powerful advertising solution. They combine Audience targeting, which focuses on specific groups of people, with Contextual targeting, which looks at the content being viewed. This collaboration helps advertisers by extending Zeotap audience targeting with contextual expansion powered by Illuma. This allows clients to scale with relevant reach and provides valuable insights into how their target audience behaves online.

Similarweb has released its annual Digital 100 ranking of the UK’s fastest growing digital businesses, along with rankings for the US, France, Germany, India, Japan, Brazil and Australia. The report covers five key categories: Apparel & Accessories, Beauty & Cosmetics, Home & Garden, Personal Finance, and Travel & Tourism with a focus on consumer brands transacting business online. Ranked by percentage increase in web traffic from 2022 to 2023, each of the winners was already operating a substantial online business in 2022, but significantly increased its reach in 2023.

Visualsoft shows that revenue for retailers increased during the 2023 festive period – with consumers prioritising more orders, of smaller value. Revenue grew 12-13% prior to Christmas, and for December as a whole, with the week before (18th-24th) Christmas seeing a 20% increase YoY. With more couriers offering guaranteed next day delivery, this increased flexibility meant consumers could purchase those last minute items. Sixteen different sectors peaked in the first week of December, including electrical goods and home, taking the most revenue on a day between 3rd and 10th December. Order numbers experienced a more significant increase compared to revenue. The data indicates an average rise of 19%, with a notable surge of 34% during the week before Christmas (18th-24th).  This implies a trend towards purchasing more lower-value items, over big-value ones. With a cost of living crisis this winter shoppers are possibly feeling the pinch while striving to capture that magical feeling of Christmas with piles of gifts under the tree. This is supported by the fact that Average Order Value dropped by 5%.

Extreme Reach, the company behind a new global unified creative and delivery platform, has unveiled ‘XR’, their new company brand. XR reflects Extreme Reach’s position as a global technology company that offers end-to-end creative and production solutions and insights to the 1,000+ brands, agencies and studios it serves around the world. XR is harnessing AI and data-driven insights to help Marketers make smarter decisions and drive return on investment. This new identity clearly exemplifies XR’s commitment to deliver the most tech-forward solutions and services to clients. Furthering XR’s platform is SpotlightXR. Led by Gaurav Agarwal, SpotlightXR is a complementary solution and is focused on modernizing and reimagining payroll, accounting, and residuals for the entertainment industry as well as commercial talent. As creative, media, and production continue to converge, XR believes the need for a unified solution is here.

Digital identity company Yoti has received £12.5 million debt funding from HSBC, and a further £7.5 million convertible debt funding from existing shareholders. The £20 million funding will support the continued growth of the company through to achieving profitability and beyond. This funding round follows the £10 million Lloyds Banking Group invested in Yoti earlier this year. Yoti’s total funding to date now exceeds £166 million; the majority provided by its founders and angel investors since it was founded in 2014. This funding has enabled Yoti to develop proprietary technologies covering identity verification, age assurance, authentication and esignatures, including world class in-house facial age estimation, liveness and facial recognition AI.

Acxiom, the customer intelligence company, has announced its partnership with MetaRouter, a specialist in Customer Data Infrastructure. The partnership will see Acxiom implement MetaRouter solutions that will enable customers to better define their first-party data strategies in a world facing cookie deprecation. Combining MetaRouter’s data delivery strengths with Acxiom’s integration expertise, the two companies help brands refine first-party data strategies and develop effective customised marketing technology stacks. Working together, Acxiom and MetaRouter provide streamlined data management and advanced analytics while prioritising ethical data practices. This approach empowers clients to fully harness their owned data, resulting in more informed decision-making, precise marketing reach, and increased customer trust and return on investment. Showing early promise, Acxiom and MetaRouter are already working with a growing number of clients to solve their pressing need for strong first-party data strategies.