Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Bloomberg Media, Astound Commerce, Pipedrive and many more

Bloomberg Media has launched Bloomberg UK, a new cross-platform editorial brand dedicated to digital-first business and financial news for modern British audiences. Led by a London newsroom of more than 500 journalists and analysts—one of the largest in Europe — the new offering builds upon Bloomberg News’ long tradition of unbiased, data-driven journalism. There will be a new weekly Bloomberg Quicktake video series – “The Bloomberg Breakfast” – profiling British CEOs, entrepreneurs and policymakers from the company’s iconic London headquarters. Bloomberg UK will also launch a podcast on the City of London. IG and iShares by Blackrock are launch sponsors of Bloomberg U.K.

TOMS has partnered with digital commerce agency Astound Commerce to migrate its ecommerce experience to Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), allowing for best-in-class customer experience, thoughtful and up-to-the-moment merchandising, and personalised content and product recommendations. TOMS selected SFCC as the foundational platform solution to drive its digital business forward. SFCC was chosen for its flexibility and broad toolset—which allow smooth updating and merchandising, creating a best-in-class customer experience. Astound partnered with TOMS to identify the optimal implementation approach to support its specific business needs, including key integrations for a complete brand representation and customer experience.

Pipedrive, the global sales-first CRM and revenue management platform for small businesses, has launched a new messaging inbox and three new integrations with strategic apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and DocuSign. Integrations with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger enable Pipedrive users to get new leads from messenger tools and have conversations with them directly from their CRM. An integration with DocuSign, the world’s #1 e-signature solution, allows users to create, send, sign and manage online sales documents without having to switch between different tabs.

Phrasee has announced an exclusive European partnership with Visa. The three-year agreement is part of Visa’s strategic investment in its clients, which include Europe’s leading B2B financial services brands. Visa clients will have access to Phrasee’s advanced natural language generation and machine learning technology as part of its reseller programme. The new reseller agreement means that Visa clients can now generate and optimise the marketing language they use across the full customer journey to ensure the highest level of engagement at every touchpoint. Financial services brands will now be able to connect to the right people at the right time with authentic, relevant, and compliant brand language – helping them win, retain and grow customers. Phrasee delivers an average 19% uplift in engagement rates for financial services brands.

Global innovation platform Kickstart has launched a new application round for startups. Now, international scaleups (startups in a more mature business phase) have the opportunity to apply for the 2022 program. Selected companies will benefit from tailored introductions and direct access to Kickstart’s vast Swiss and Austrian network, with the goal of landing commercial partnerships and deals with partner organizations, cities, universities and more. Scaleups offering original, disruptive solutions, looking to tap into new revenue streams, and committed to delivering meaningful impact are encouraged to apply. “The topic of sustainability has now become the core of all activities. Innovation without sustainability considerations has no chance in the future,” explains Katka Letzing, Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstart Innovation.

Insurance company, AXA UK has launched the next edition of AXA Startup Angel, a nationwide competition providing the opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into exciting new businesses in partnership with the Evening Standard. The campaign has been brokered by media agency, Starcom, part of Publicis Media. The competition will run for nine weeks, closing on 17th July. There are six chances to win; two competition winners will each receive the gold prize, which consists of £25,000 to fund the business idea; business mentoring from the AXA Startup Angels; and 12 months of business insurance from AXA for the first year. This year, four further winning entrants will receive the silver and bronze prizes which include a digital advertising campaign with the Evening Standard. The partnership includes numerous touchpoints across print, digital, social, audio, OOH and experiential. A 4-page cover wrap will run in the Evening Standard paper to launch the competition. Distributed across and on social will be a promotional video featuring the four AXA Startup Angels, encouraging entries and with details of how to enter.

SCC, Europe’s biggest privately-owned IT services firm, has announced the acquisition of audiovisual (AV) specialist Visavvi, adding capacity to scale its unified communications business, SCC AVS. The acquisition of Visavvi, which will trade as ‘Visavvi, an SCC business’, sees SCC welcome 130 skilled people in AV and deepen its specialisms across the commercial and private sectors, including in education, where SCC has just been appointed an inaugural Panel Member on the enFrame ICT Framework and will deliver solutions to UK multi-academy trusts for the first time.

Proact has enhanced its networking services offering with software-defined managed services package “SD-Connect”. By adding SD-Connect – comprised of SD-WAN, SD-WiFi and SD-LAN – to its portfolio, independent data centre and cloud services provider Proact is able to offer its customers an AI-driven networking solution. The improved network performance made possible by these services is critical for enabling access to data wherever it is stored. The services that make up SD-Connect are designed to interoperate with one another to ensure ideal network coverage. They are additionally delivered from the same vendor, resulting in a more consistent service than a mixture of networking components from multiple vendors. The services are offered fully managed by Proact.

ESW, the global direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce company, has announced that it has agreed to acquire Scalefast, a Los Angeles–based, end-to-end ecommerce solution provider. Subject to customary approvals, the transaction is expected to close by mid-year 2022. The company also announced that Scalefast founders, CEO Nicolas Stehle, CTO Frédéric Bocquet, and CMO Olivier Schott, will join the ESW senior leadership team. The acquisition will further extend ESW’s market strength across apparel, beauty, personal care and luxury brands to include entertainment, gaming and electronics. Scalefast’s data analytics and speed-to-market will also facilitate turnkey localised stores, digital ‘pop up’ stores and highly targeted DTC brand campaigns, which will all strongly complement ESW’s unrivalled cross-border DTC solutions and market-leading end-to-end customer experience. 

ARX Equity Partners (“ARX”), a Central European lower-mid market private equity firm,
today announces the completion of the majority acquisition of Brebeck Composite s.r.o., a Czech headquartered manufacturer of composite products from carbon fiber. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ARX was assisted by Squire Patton Boggs (legal advisor) and PwC (financial and tax due diligence). The sellers were assisted by Genesia Partners (M&A advisor) and AK PKK (legal advisor) on this transaction.

Circulor, a global tech company and expert in supply chain traceability, was chosen from hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s “Technology Pioneers”. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in London, Circulor provides the most proven, mature and complete solution for gaining full visibility into complex industrial supply chains. The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early or growth-stage companies from around the world that are building and advancing new technologies and innovations with the potential to impact business and society. In being selected as a Technology Pioneer, Circulor’s founder and CEO, Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, will engage in World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions. Johnson-Poensgen and Circulor will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, collaborating with global leaders to address key industry and societal issues.

emerchantpay, a payment service provider and acquirer, has formed a strategic partnership with APEXX Global, a multi-award-winning global payments platform, to expand its acquiring coverage and maximise its merchant growth globally. The partnership will expand APEXX’s current ecosystem by providing access to emerchantpay’s in-house and global merchant acquiring services. Additionally, through the new alliance with emerchantpay, APEXX will leverage over 300 ways to pay domestically and cross-border. This means that APEXX can reach more merchants across a range of verticals and in key international markets. Moreover, the partnership is underpinned by emerchantpay’s partner-centric approach through dedicated support, training, monitoring and optimising APEXX’s proposition. Ultimately, this relationship is poised to drive operational efficiencies, a higher volume of transactions and boost payment performance.

Absolute Software™, a specialist in self-healing endpoint and secure access solutions, has announced that it has expanded operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). This expansion follows a period of significant growth across the region, fueled by Absolute’s extensive global partner network and increasing demand for remote working security. Additionally, with its acquisition of NetMotion last year, the company is well-positioned to accelerate operations and meet significant customer needs with its combined Secure Endpoint and Secure Access product portfolio. As part of its EMEA expansion, Absolute has made significant investments in building out its European infrastructure with the opening of a dedicated data centre, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Achi Lewis, a proven enterprise security industry leader, has also been appointed as Area Vice President of EMEA to oversee the company’s go-to-market strategy in the region, including establishing relationships with key customers and growing its partner network.

Zoho Corporation, a global technology company, has announced Zoho Marketing Plus, a new unified platform that enables CMOs to drive up performance through bringing together marketing sub-functions working on activities across campaign ideation, creation, execution, management and measurement. This provides stakeholders across the entire marketing organisation with a single, shared view of critical information for improved collaboration and results. The new marketing platform increases the effectiveness of digital marketing strategies by giving marketing leaders a deeper understanding of prospect preferences and behaviours so they can deliver engaging, high-value experiences that increase the quality and volume of leads.

Security company Onapsis has unveiled a new SaaS-based, zero-footprint offering that will accelerate vulnerability management programs for SAP customers. This new offering will help resource-constrained organisations combat increasing attacks on business-critical software applications.  The offering will enable companies to accelerate time-to-value by simplifying deployment and focusing on a core set of critical vulnerabilities. When organisations are ready to take on more, the solution provides easy expansion to additional scope for vulnerability management, as well as capabilities for continuous threat monitoring and application security testing.  

Avery Dennison has announced the launch of Embelex™. A full-service ecosystem for on-product branding, Embelex supports customization, personalization, and smart solutions in the apparel, footwear, and accessories manufacturing markets. Avery Dennison is a global supplier of on-product branding and supporting technology, helping bring brands, much-loved institutions, and sports teams to life through heat transfers, embroidery, patches, and badges. The company recently announced the continuation of its contract to supply Premier League official shirt names, numbers, and sleeve badges for on-pitch and retail. These badges have built-in smart technology that allows users to scan the badge to reveal hidden content on the Premier League app. Now with Embelex, a journey of rapid growth is planned, positioning Avery Dennison as a leader in the supply of digitally enabled physical embellishments, as well as the software and manufacturing capability to provide everything a brand or organization needs to celebrate its name, personalize products in its ranges and create digital experiences to connect with consumers through on-garment branding.

SurePay, the Confirmation of Payee provider, has announced that it has partnered with Buckaroo, an established payment service provider for businesses, to offer its Confirmation of Payee solution to their customers in the Netherlands. Confirmation of Payee is a way to give consumers, banks and companies greater assurance that their payments are being routed to the intended recipient and are not being accidentally or deliberately misdirected. As digital technology has become the essential building block of the global financial infrastructure, organisations now expect providers to keep pace with the demand for fast, safe and low friction payments. Buckaroo chose to partner with SurePay due to its best-in-class Confirmation of Payee solution, to check and track payments and commensurate with the changing nature of the threat of fraud. SurePay has a proven track record of implementing the technology quickly and without disruption with other leading financial institutions across Europe. SurePay’s innovative, real-time name-checking solution gives Buckaroo greater assurance that the direct debit or credit transfer payments they’re processing are going to the intended recipient, drastically improving the ease of use and security of online payments for businesses using their services.

GumGum, a contextual-first global digital advertising platform, has announced it has become an official member of Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM), the cross-industry initiative established by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), and will play a more strategic role in helping build guidelines that increase trust and transparency and shape the advertising industry across contextual, brand safety and suitability.

JOKR, an instant delivery app, has announced the global launch of JOKR Media, a new retail media platform to increase the sales of CPG products by offering a wide variety of marketing placements. JOKR’s offline ad placements come together to provide brands exciting opportunities to seamlessly plan, buy, measure, and manage their ads and drive significant ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). In addition to in-app banner placements and offline initiatives such as sampling, JOKR is launching a new auction-based self-service ads platform for CPG partners. JOKR has partnered with Topsort, an ad-auction infrastructure provider, to allow advertisers to bid for more personalized and relevant product placements on the search page, homepage, and across various other locations in the innovative new JOKR app. The self service ad platform allows for simple campaign management through auto-bidding, pacing, and hourly reporting. 

Freshworks Inc., a software company empowering the people who power business, has transformed how The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust delivers essential IT services to clinical staff by using the cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform Freshservice®. With hundreds of IT service tickets being submitted to IT support each day, from password resets to account lockouts, the manual analogue approach in place meant that clinicians could at times wait several days for a resolution. This meant clinicians potentially could not access critical patient data, but more importantly, submitting and following up on IT requests used-up valuable time that front-line health workers could be spending on the core business of patient care. Following the implementation of Freshservice, self-service has become a core pillar to the Trust’s IT solution. Instead of IT staff having to talk someone through the simple process of resetting a password, the system redirects the user to a site that supports an automated reset, meaning staff can ‘self-serve’, dramatically reducing waiting time and preventing unnecessary frustrations caused by common IT issues. Those interacting with the platform are also shown FAQs to further accelerate problem-solving without the need for intervention from the IT team – in turn reducing the level of required IT resources. Instead of having five people permanently working on IT service requests, most issues can be dealt with automatically through self-service, meaning only one person is required to deal with emergency IT requests by phone.

Research and Development Specialists Ltd (RDS), a company that specialises in helping firms to navigate the HMRC tax incentive, has just unveiled a comprehensive upgrade to its CRM system that it hopes will increase transparency and ease of use for new and existing customers. The company has introduced a new customer service hub, a £50K+ project that is totally unique to RDS and was completed by IT development firm Code Galaxy, which RDS has also commissioned to design and build a new website. The brief for the RDS Client and Partner Hub was to streamline internal processes, saving time for those on both ends of overseeing an R&D claim. Each and every RDS customer can now access their claim at any time of day and get a real time view of the stage/progress of the claim. Other new features include increased options for communication, including a new voice notes facility, and a project tracker so that a client’s claims along with any supporting evidence are all conveniently accessed from one centralised location.

Krepling, one of the fastest growing e-commerce platforms on the market, has announced the launch of the world’s first agnostic digital wallet for ecommerce, Krepling Pay. Unlike the platform’s existing competitors – Apple, Google, ShopPay – Krepling Pay is compatible with every device and every browser, providing users with a truly versatile payments solution. Providing an optimised 1-click checkout with no passwords or forms, Krepling Pay provides a simple solution to all of those problems. The checkout process, which is entirely localised according to currency and language preferences, enables merchants to benefit from cross-border commerce. Optimised for conversions, Krepling Pay provides the ultimate solution for seamless both one-off and recurring transactions, generating more complete checkouts and more repeat purchases. And operating with five fewer clicks and eight fewer fields than regular e-commerce gateways, each transaction is processed between 45-100 seconds faster than other payment types. The Krepling Pay system has also been devised for simple integration with existing stacks, to enable as many merchants as possible to benefit from the new technology.

Following a number of senior hires, new product development and a focus on partnerships, Manchester and Reigate based tech company Infinity has welcomed Specsavers, Centre Parcs Corporate Events and a raft of new clients to its portfolio, and achieved a record-breaking first quarter. Since acquiring ResponseTap in 2021, Infinity has strengthened its class-leading conversation analytics suite and recently announced the launch of ‘Agent ID’ and ‘Outbound call tracking’ – representing a significant improvement to its contact centre offering. The new features and services allow customers to curate individually tailored training programmes and consequently reduce acquisition costs, increase average order value, and optimise lead conversion in their call centres.

Druva Inc. has announced a multi-year global Strategic Collaboration Agreement (SCA) with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) to accelerate customer migration and provide an added layer of cyber resiliency to the already secure AWS Cloud. Built on the existing relationship between Druva and AWS, this agreement underscores both companies’ commitment to delivering a cloud-native data protection solution on AWS, and supporting enterprises during critical phases of the cloud journey, including support for workload migration and deployments.

Fluid Commerce has joined forces in a partnership with shipping automation company, Sendcloud, which is built to accelerate growth for eCommerce businesses. Sendcloud allows you to fulfil shipments for your E-commerce store with ease by permitting you to connect your e-commerce store, enable your preferred couriers and optimize your checkout with a range of different shipping and parcel shop options. Sendcloud also aids with printing shipping labels and creating exciting branded tracking emails. Fluid Commerce expects the partnership with Sendcloud to help their existing and future clients to speed up and aid their shipping processes so that companies can save time and money to focus on other important factors when running an e-commerce business.  

Emodo, an Ericsson company providing high-impact audience, inventory, and creative advertising solutions, has announced the launch of Emodo Audiences verified by Three UK, making operator-verified privacy-compliant audience solutions available in the United Kingdom (UK) for the first time. Leveraging Three UK’s operator data, the solution validates the accuracy and quality of audience segments in real-time. The product joins the suite of solutions within Emodo Audiences, including Predictive Audiences, an ML-powered targeting solution that enables advertisers to target audiences at scale with or without IDs. has won a competitive tender to become the exclusive ticketing partner to Glamorgan Cricket, one of 18 county cricket clubs and the only Welsh first-class county. Ahead of the start of the 2023 cricket season, Glamorgan is investing in delivering a first-class customer experience for its dedicated fanbase. It selected to help it take a new, innovative approach to ticketing to complement the club’s ongoing fan experience enhancements using’s integrated marketing and customer service platforms, Mobile Marketing Cloud and Mobile Service Cloud. The multi-year deal will see Glamorgan replacing its existing ticketing solution to use’s platform for all domestic competitions, international matches and women’s cricket matches hosted at Sophia Gardens. Supporters and fans can expect to see improvements on the new ticketing platform in time for the start of next season.

For too long we’ve let our lunchtimes be ruined by lame lunches, but Taco Bell wants to call time on this sorry state of affairs and offer you a Taco Swap. For taco fans and first-timers alike, the entire nation can head to their nearest restaurant this week and claim a free Crunchy Taco. Available from 9th – 15th May 12-2pm, lunch goers can leave their lunch at home and pick up a FREE a Seasoned Beef or Black Bean Crunchy Taco worth £1.29. The Taco Swap campaign seeks to awaken the nation to more exciting lunchtime meals. For those worried they won’t be able to convince their office creature of habit, plain Jane lunchtime buddy to ditch their usual, Taco Bell has created a Taco Swap Chrome extension to hack their friend’s lunchtime decision making with some not-so-subtle subliminal messages.