It’s the age of social media and rich media, so big companies need better ways to easily connect to millions of customers in a way that seems human. Without, of course, actually incurring the expense of real-live humans.
SundaySky, which tripled revenues and doubled staff in 2012, just closed a $20 million third round of funding to accelerate its growth — and make more annoying videos with pepped-up muzak and personalized-but-not-personal video presentations of your health care bill, your insurance coverage, your mobile carrier’s new products, and everything else that you don’t want to spend your valuable time on.
Companies like AT&T and Office Depot use SundaySky to autogenerate customized videos en masse based on their clients’ data, giving consumers a video to watch instead of a financial statement to read.
Here’s an depressingly cheery example:
While a sign of our increasingly depersonalized fake-human future, there’s no doubt that there’s money in rich-media personalization. In the last year, SundaySky video views have doubled. The company’s video platform, SmartVideo, currently generates “hundreds of thousands of SmartVideos daily,” and its customers find that personalized videos increase customer engagement, loyalty, and, yeah, cold-hard monetary value.
“This milestone highlights SundaySky’s success in establishing and leading the smart video category and a new paradigm for how businesses engage with their customers,” Shmulik Weller, the CEO of SundaySky, said in a statement.
The company said that “leading customer-centric brands” are adopting its solutions, particularly in the health care, telecommunications, insurance, and banking industries — all well-known for being customer-centric.
The funding round was led by Comcast Ventures, appropriately enough, with participation from Liberty Global Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners. Existing investors Carmel Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, and Norwest Venture Partners also participated.
“Comcast Ventures is a believer in disruptive digital marketing innovation, particularly as CMOs boost technology investments and seek to develop more direct, personalized relationships with customers,” Andrew Cleland, managing director of Comcast Ventures, said in a press release. “SundaySky sits at the intersection of these trends, combining rich creative experiences with big data.”
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