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BlueShift, a B2C marketing automation vendor, has raised $8 million in series A funding.

Most marketing automation solutions address the B2B market, but B2C marketers increasingly desire similar automation capabilities. Additionally, most marketing automation vendors focus on rules-based segmentation, as opposed to machine-learning-based one-to-one personalization.

Marketing automation 2015 - vendor quadrant

To address these challenges for B2C marketers, BlueShift was founded in May 2014 by a team of data scientists and marketers previously at WalmartLabs and Groupon. The company’s solution is used primarily by ecommerce companies.

Traditional marketing automation lets marketers create segments, but the greater the number of segments, the greater the challenge of managing and engaging them. B2C companies often have many more segments than B2B companies, exacerbating the challenge.

Blueshift enables greater personalization based on visitors’ interests, purchase patterns, and browsing behavior. The company claims this typically leads to a 3-10X increase in engagement rates.

We’ve covered BlueShift before, noting some other aspects that set it apart from other vendors. One difference we are starting to see more of is the focus on behavioral data:

BlueShift builds customer profiles by leveraging primarily real-time behavioral data, whereas many marketing automation solutions rely mostly on historical data, which is limited and stagnant. The solution also offers predictive capabilities, which traditional marketing automation users often have to use partners for.

The company’s automation is powered by its so-called Interaction Graph, which captures each visitor’s interactions as they engage across channels. This engagement gets translated into engagement and affinity scores, which can then be used for greater personalization.


Above: Source: BlueShift

Like most marketing automation vendors, email remains the most important channel for most customers. Our new report on email personalization confirms this, while finding that numerous data sources from other channels are driving new degrees of personalization in email. However, BlueShift customers can engage customers across other channels as well, such as mobile push notifications, SMS, and ads — including Facebook Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.

The new funding was led by Storm Ventures. Anshu Sharma of Storm will be joining the company’s board of directors, bringing with him many years of SaaS leadership from his previous role at Salesforce.

BlueShift had previously raised $2.6 million in seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners, which also participated in the new round; New Enterprise Associates; Tim Kopp, the former CMO of ExactTarget; and the founders of Kosmix, which was bought and turned into WalmartLabs.

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