Amplero — the predictive customer lifetime value (CLV) management platform, which helps its clients reduce churn and increase average revenue per user (ARPU) — has today announced a raise of $8 million to expand its operations.
The company, which initially began life as part of Globys but was spun out from its parent in April 2016, is headquartered in Seattle and uses machine learning to test thousands of marketing permutations constantly, ensuring that the right message is delivered to the right users at the right time, and via the right channel.
The solution then chooses the winning permutations, working in concert with your existing marketing technology stack to make the relevant changes on the fly. Users can then adapt these strategies to focus on what they want to adjust or improve, whether that be average revenue per customer or retention rates. Focusing on attracting marketers in the telecom, banking, and software-as-a-service industries initially, Amplero claims that its clients have seen more than 3 percent incremental growth in revenue, and 5X retention benefits.
So what will the funds be used for?
“We intend to invest the proceeds of this raise in a concerted attack on the traction gap, with a specific focus on broadening and strengthening Amplero’s team and revenue architecture, both sales and customer success, proving Amplero’s application in key verticals, and focusing on establishing the key dimensions of repeatability,” Olly Downs, CEO at Amplero, told me. “We will be investing in product evolution towards increasing marketer accessibility and driving direct customer engagement. Our leading investment in machine learning innovation will continue, drawing upon expanding our world-class internal team and our engagement with partners in academia.”
All of which means an increased focus on new industries, and new problems to solve. To get there, Amplero takes inspiration from complex issues being solved elsewhere.
“To give some insight into what’s next from a technical/science perspective, we can draw some parallels with some common themes and problems we see in society today,” Downs said. “For example, our efforts to plan and predict multiple touches ahead in customer interactions (not just next best action, but next best series of interactions) is groundbreaking in the marketing technology arena. But this work is similar to the problems that some of the smartest scientists in the world have had to solve in planning the trajectories of satellites for a missile defense system, where they need to think about a series of events and how they could play out collectively versus just planning for the next event.
“Another example is our work in identifying socially driven effects of influence on customer lifetime value (how does the behavior of those in my social graph influence my own retention or revenue behavior). Modeling and predicting this behavior starts to look a lot like the work that has been done by leading medical scientists when determining the real and potential threat of a given illness spreading across a population.”
Some of the forthcoming changes this raise helps to fund will be more functional in nature.
“In addition to pushing forward on the technical and science front, look for Amplero to keep getting more and more (artificially) intelligent, but becoming increasingly simple for marketers to use and to determine actionable marketing, audience, and product insights,” Downs said. “We’re still a long way from regular marketers using basic personalization in email, apps, and the web, despite the demand for personalized experiences. How will we bridge that gap, and what can we do to move beyond basic personalization to hyperpersonalized, 1:1 communications?”
Downs hopes that Amplero is the answer to that question, and ease-of-use will likely be the route to market if marketers are going to get on board with hyperpersonalized communications.
“We see far too often really smart, creative marketing folks spending their days (and weeks/months) implementing and executing an A/B or multivariate test followed by weeks of analyzing the results to decide on a winner,” Matt Fleckenstein, chief product officer at Amplero, told me.
“Marketers are brilliant at brainstorming new strategies to try and engage customers, grow the share of wallet they capture, or increase retention — and they are brilliant at coming up with creative assets that pay off the promise while playing to the human emotion,” Fleckenstein said. “Computers, on the other hand, are great at solving large, complex mathematical and optimization problems and doing so efficiently at scale. So, at Amplero, we feel one of the keys is to enable the marketer to do the strategy and creative, while empowering the machine to do what it does best.”
Of course, in an increasingly smartphone-driven world, we have to focus on the small screen when building out our marketing strategies. What is different about personalizing for mobile versus desktop?
“There are definitely lots of similarities across these two media, but one of the most significant differences is the rich contextual data that often is available when personalizing for mobile,” Fleckenstein said. “The obvious one is location, given that customers are increasingly connected 24/7 to brands through their mobile devices and there is rich data about that customer in terms of their geographic proximity to something noteworthy — to a brick and mortar store, to a retail banking office, or even to another customer.
“But what’s also fascinating about engaging on mobile devices is the rich information that can be gleaned about others who are in their social spheres. We are increasingly leveraging social graph data to help telecom companies predict and address customers most at risk of churning based upon the loyalty and/or defection patterns of others in their network.”
Amplero‘s series A funding was led by Wildcat Venture Partners with participation from Globys/Trilogy Equity Partners, Salesforce Ventures, and Seven Peaks Ventures.