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SessionM, a Boston-based customer data and engagement startup founded in 2010, today announced that it has raised $23.8 million in a round led by Salesforce Ventures. Causeway Media Partners, CRV, General Atlantic, Highland Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Caufield & Byers also participated.
CEO and cofounder Lars Albright — a veteran of the mobile advertising sector who sold his previous company, Quattro Wireless, to Apple in 2010 for an estimated $275 million — said that SessionM will use the new capital to accelerate sales, marketing, product development, talent acquisition, and international expansion.
“Our platform is purpose-built to inspire loyalty in consumers as measured by increased frequency, spend, and satisfaction,” he said in a statement. “That’s made possible through delivering high-impact personalized experiences that are rooted in every customer’s unique data. It’s extremely gratifying when some of the best and most innovative companies in the world look to SessionM to help them solve their most pressing initiatives around personalization and customer engagement.”
SessionM’s machine learning-powered tools allow its clients, which include Barneys New York, TGI Fridays, Kimberly-Clark, and L’Oréal, to deliver highly targeted, personalized experiences and boost spending by analyzing in-store behavior in real time. The platform organizes customers’ data into profiles, which it separates into segments and ranks by purchase propensity.
Huggies leverages the company’s product suite to deliver tips to parents based on their purchase history — as their kids grow into larger diaper sizes, they get emails about baby-proofing the house, for example. And Chicken Salad Chick, a Southern fast-casual restaurant chain, uses SessionM to drive business to underperforming markets.
Total Offer Management, one of SessionM’s newest offerings, delivers custom offers across in-store, mobile, web, email, and push notification channels. In April, TGI Fridays tapped it to relaunch its customer loyalty program — instead of static rewards (e.g., “Earn a free salad after 10 visits”), customers rack up in-store and digital points by engaging with the brand on social media, for example, and by participating in surveys.
The Salesforce investment doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Salesforce participated in a $35 million SessionM funding round in 2016. And in June, the startup announced an integration with three of Salesforce’s products — Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud — that gives retailers a unified customer view, with metrics such as customer lifetime value and recommended offers.
“At Salesforce, we invest in companies bringing cutting-edge solutions to our customer base,” said Matt Garratt, managing partner at Salesforce Ventures. “SessionM and Salesforce’s joint customers have also achieved great success, and I am excited for this traction to continue in the quarters ahead.”
SessionM is on a hot streak. Last year, it acquired point-of-sale marketing software provider LoyaltyTree. And in May, it unveiled a new feature designed to help clients achieve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European law requiring organizations that collect the personal data of EU citizens to give those individuals greater control over that data.
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