Business

Email and retail join forces: TellApart acquires AdStack for under $10M

Above: Josh McFarland, TellApart's CEO

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TellApart, a company that helps businesses make the most of their customer data, announced today that it had completed the acquisition of AdStack, a provider of email marketing software.

The companies didn’t publicize the exact terms of the deal, but a spokesperson for TellApart said the total consideration, including stock and cash, was in the single digit millions.

TellApart’s technology helps retailers identify their most profitable customers and deliver targeted offers to them, for both online and retail opportunities, to drive those customers to purchase more. It claims that its tools have driven billions of dollars in incremental revenue for its customer list, which includes Brookstone, CafePress, HauteLook, Hayneedle, Neiman Marcus, REVOLVEclothing, Sur La Table, Warby Parker and Wayfair.

AdStack provides real-time analytics for email marketing campaigns, including A/B testing, personalization, targeting. It would seem to be a very complementary service for a retail commerce personalization and targeting company, and that’s exactly how TellApart sees it. “Email truly is the godfather of native advertising — commercial messages designed to be consumed as content,” TellApart’s chief executive Josh McFarland wrote in a blog post. “Our dynamic email products are starting with a complementary approach — by joining personalized content with beautiful editorial imagery, we will further the intersection of two major trends: native advertising and the programmatic personalization of ad content.”

AdStack had raised a single seed round of $650,000 and was serving “roughly a dozen” paying customers. It employs six people.

TellApart has raised $17.75 million to date, led by Greylock Partners and Bain Capital, and has 45 employees. SV Angel was the company’s seed investor in July, 2009. TellApart has been profitable for over a year, the spokesperson told VentureBeat, with 50 paying customers at present, although the company has not disclosed its revenues.

“We build hardcore systems that tackle big data challenges for the likes of Nordstrom and Bed Bath & Beyond, and for that, we’re rewarded handsomely,” McFarland told VentureBeat in 2012, when we identified TellApart as one of 10 startups leading the way in big data.


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Before starting TellApart in 2009, McFarland was formerly at Google where he spent five years working as a lead product manager on AdWords, Audio Ads and Google’s display ads efforts. The company is based in Burlingame, Calif., about half way between Silicon Valley and San Francisco.


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