LiveIntent, the industry-leading platform for advertising and marketing in email, today announced a $32.5 million growth equity investment. FTV Capital, the bi-coastal private equity firm with a strong track record investing in enterprise solutions in the digital marketing space, led the round. Battery Ventures, First Round Capital, Shasta Ventures and other existing major investors participated in the growth round. As part of the transaction, FTV Capital partner Liron Gitig will join the LiveIntent board of directors. The funding will be used to enhance the technology platform that offers marketers a privacy-safe closed loop solution that leverages the anonymized email address for people-based marketing.
The LiveIntent platform has gained significant industry traction due to its innovative approach to enabling the buying and selling of ads in email. It works with over 450 brands and 750 publishers to market to people seamlessly across any device using the most effective tool in marketing: email. The platform reaches roughly 92 million anonymized unique users per month, half of whom are on mobile. LiveIntent partners with brands to enable a smarter way to market and advertise to people, not pixels; LiveIntent does not send email.
“In a world of fragmented attention, where the average American will soon own 5 devices, LiveIntent is leading the way in targeting people,” said LiveIntent founder and CEO Matt Keiser. “At LiveIntent, we are using the anonymized email address as a unique identifier to target individuals and measure campaign effectiveness across everything from the digital world of online shopping and browsing through to brick and mortar stores. The industry-wide shift away from dependency on cookies, led by Facebook, is a reflection of the direction marketing is headed—more targeted and thus more cost-effective. This is the promise of people-based marketing, the biggest change in advertising since digital. People-based marketing, simply put, allows marketing to serve messages and campaigns to the same individuals irrespective of browser or device.”
“LiveIntent hasn’t just innovated in the email space, it is owning a major transition that is changing the way companies target and monetize across this channel,” said Liron Gitig, partner at FTV Capital. “Their unique platform, with its decisioning business logic and prediction modeling capabilities, enables advertisers and publishers to successfully leverage email in a way that has never been done before: ads can now be optimized at the time an email is opened by leveraging anonymized first-party data. We are highly impressed with the way LiveIntent’s strong, proven management team has executed to drive robust growth with its distinctive offering.”
The fundraise comes on the heels of a slew of awards and expansions for the New York-based platform. In 2014, LiveIntent was named the #2 fastest-growing company in New York by Crain’s and already, in 2015, has been named one of Forbes’ Most Promising Companies. In addition to doubling in size, revenue and reach in 2014, it also opened up its first international office in London.
“Since Facebook’s Custom Audience launch in September of 2014, many platforms and software-as-a-service providers have emerged with their own takes on people-based marketing,” said John Lambros, Head of Digital Media Banking at noted investment bank GCA Savvian. “Verizon/AOL, Oracle, Salesforce, Criteo, Marketo, Twitter and more have each leapt into the fray, offering their own plans on how to address a cross-device world using anonymized first-party data. LiveIntent was a pioneer in people-based marketing and is now the rare platform with experience and wisdom in the popular practice.”
“The emergence of people-based marketing is one of the most exciting developments in the industry,” said Travis May, President of data onboarder LiveRamp. “Brands want to use their anonymized first-party data to reach real consumers across devices with accuracy and confidence, and LiveIntent’s proprietary technology brings cutting-edge advertising to the email channel.”
“Email is the most popular activity on mobile and that’s partly responsible for our astronomical success,” continued LiveIntent’s Keiser. “The email address acts as a digital passport and is such a valuable data asset because it’s inherently cross-device and cross-channel. It’s persistent and the same everywhere you use it (whether it be your phone, computer, tablet, Tesla, Apple Watch, or even your connected refrigerator). In its anonymized form, the email address is the heart of people-based marketing, which is unifying marketing and advertising technology.”
As the world becomes increasingly cross-channel and cross-device, with reports showing that the mobile ad industry as a whole grows 34 percent year over year, LiveIntent’s ability to reach people across channel and across device has become integral to forward-looking brands, advertisers, and publishers.
LiveIntent helps over 450 top brands deliver marketing and advertising messages to over 92MM unique, engaged people each month, in emails sent by 750 top US publishers and brands. LiveIntent cut its teeth as a smarter way to buy and sell ads in email and was recognized in 2014 as the fastest growing technology company in NYC (by Crain’s) and in 2015 as one of America’s Most Promising Companies (by Forbes.) With the anonymized email address at the center of its platform, LiveIntent has evolved beyond simply putting ads in email. LiveIntent is now one of the largest people-based marketing platforms in the world and also one of the first, having gone to market with the technology in 2010. LiveIntent is headquartered in NYC, with offices in Austin, Detroit, and the UK, serving as home to 165 people and counting.
About FTV Capital
FTV Capital is a growth equity investment firm that has raised over $1.8 billion since inception to invest in high-growth companies offering a range of innovative solutions in three sectors: enterprise solutions, financial services, and payments/transaction processing. FTV’s experienced team leverages its domain expertise and proven track record in each of these sectors to help motivated management teams accelerate growth. FTV also provides companies with access to its Global Partner Network, a group of the world’s leading enterprises and executives who have helped FTV portfolio companies for more than a decade. Founded in 1998, FTV Capital has invested in 86 portfolio companies and has offices in San Francisco and New York. For more information, please visit www.ftvcapital.com.