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Ever heard of tags? In the context of webpages and emails, they’re embedded data-collection tools written in JavaScript — think cookies for ad targeting or affiliate link performance trackers. Tags are useful for webmasters, advertisers, and marketers alike, but without an agreed-upon standard by which to manage them, they can quickly become unwieldy.

That’s where Tealium comes in. Former WebSideStory colleagues Ali Behnam and Mike Anderson cofounded the San Diego, California-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company in 2008 as a tag management solution for corporations, government agencies, and enterprises, but swiftly expanded its scope to help clients track customers through affiliate marketing, online search, display marketing, and segment targeting.

Tealium sees enormous growth potential in the sector, which is why it’s raising fresh capital freshly off of a $30.7 million funding round in February 2015. The company today announced that it’s secured $55 million in series F funding led by Silver Lake Waterman, with participation from ABN AMRO, Bain Capital, Declaration Partners, Georgian Partners, Industry Ventures, Parkwood, and Presidio Ventures. It brings Tealium’s total debt and equity raised to $167.9 million.


Above: Tealium’s dashboard.

Image Credit: Tealium

CEO Jeff Lunsford said the capital infusion will be used to accelerate product development, further scale Tealium’s go-to-market activities, and expand its data integration ecosystem.


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“Our customer data platform is the vendor-agnostic foundation that allows data to flow freely and securely across the organization, rendering it accessible and useful to every team, technology, and solving departmental or technological silos that limit opportunity for data agility,” said Lunsford, who estimates that content management “friction” costs organizations 5%-10% of the $130 billion spent annually on marketing IT worldwide and the $70 billion spent annually on digital advertising. “By democratizing the data collection and delivery process, we help organizations to meet the changing needs of their business and customers and protect the integrity of their data.”

Tealium’s flow begins with data collection. Customers use EventStream — a central API hub that collects and delivers cloud-based customer events — to funnel records to a central hub. Next, they tap Tealium’s content management system and ecommerce libraries to come up with a common nomenclature for their various web, mobile, and connected devices marketing technologies.

Once that’s done, clients can deploy and manage vendor tags, remotely manage universal and dynamic data objects, and integrate over 1,000 turnkey vendor integrations via tags, SDKs, custom connections, webhooks, and APIs.

They’ve got a robust set of access control tools at their disposal, too — team managers can inherit properties across site profiles, assign user-level permissions to key functions, and set up multiple deployment environments for testing. Additionally, they’re able to prevent users without the proper permissions from making changes and viewing version history, and to build data governance and compliance rules, policies, and practices.

For analysis and insight-gleaning, there’s Telium AudienceStream, a customer data platform that combines identity resolution, data enrichment capabilities, and audience management in a single platform. It’s able to stitch together known and unknown profiles across sessions, devices, and offline channels (such as call center and point of sale) by collecting known identifiers and matching identifiers across sessions, and it can trigger actions based on behaviors and automatically optimize spending. Moreover, it enables devs to define profile attributes (e.g., content affinity, lead scoring, and lifetime value), and to segment audiences across all integrated marketing technologies.

Lastly, there’s Tealium DataAccess, which unifies customer data across channels and devices. It supports real-time integrations with infrastructure-as-a-service platforms like Amazon Kinesis, Google Cloud Pub/Sub, and Microsoft Azure’s Stream Analytics, and enables teams to access and share that data on demand using a content distribution network that Tealium claims is faster than “any” other tag management solution.

There’s evidently an appetite for what the company’s selling. Telium has over 800 customers — up from 500 four years ago — and ranked 293 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50, with 278.8% revenue growth from 2014 to 2017. And Lunsford says that AudienceStream, which launched in 2013, has experienced “accelerated growth” in recent years, notably seeing a 300% year-over-year increase in visitor profiles created.

“Tealium enables enterprises to solve the customer data fragmentation problem by integrating and enriching data across sources in real time to create audiences while providing data governance and fidelity,” said Silver Lake Waterman managing director Shawn O’Neill. “Jeff and his team have built a great platform and we are excited to support the company’s continued growth and investment in innovation.”

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