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Marketing Featured ANZ

Marketing company IVE acquires ADG, AFI to extend retail display, 3PL offerings

Australia – Marketing agency IVE Group has announced its acquisition of Active Display Group (ADG), the display and signage unit of creative transformation company WPP, and AFI Branding Solutions (AFI), the Melbourne-based fabric signage innovation firm.

Through the acquisition, ADG will further strengthen IVE’s retail display and 3PL offerings in Australia, while AFI will help in adding events, exhibition, and fabric printing, as well as signage capabilities to the agency’s offerings for the first time.

IVE said that the integration will commence in November 2021.

Matt Aitken, IVE Group’s CEO, shared that the acquisitions aim to strengthen their offer as an industry leader in the design and production of temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent retail display solutions to leading Australian and global brands. 

“ADG’s comprehensive 3PL division is also a seamless fit for IVE’s already extensive logistics and fulfillment operations. We look forward to welcoming the ADG and AFI staff to our business, and showcasing IVE’s diverse value proposition to their customers,” said Aitken.

Meanwhile, Steve Voorma, the CEO of Active Display Group, stated that the combination of ADG and IVE’s existing capabilities will create by far the most sophisticated and advanced retail display offering in the country. 

“From the breadth and depth of our combined capability, right through to our impeccable environmental and sustainability credentials, this new retail offering will be unmatched in Australia,” said Voorma.

Glenn Watson, AFI’s managing director, commented that this is an exciting new chapter for AFI Branding and they look forward to joining the talented team at IVE. 

He said, “AFI brings complementary services to IVE’s already extensive offering, presenting a compelling proposition to its existing 2,800 clients and the wider market.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Carousell acquires niche marketplace Ox Street

Singapore – Carousell Group, the classifieds group in Greater Southeast Asia, has announced its acquisition of Ox Street, the end-to-end marketplace for authenticated sneakers and streetwear, in the aim to deepen its reach and scale to become a market leader for fashion and luxury goods in the region.

Ox Street will continue to operate as its own brand, retaining its name, platform, and team. The acquisition will be driving a synergistic partnership between the marketplaces.

The group said the acquisition reflects Carousell’s deep commitment to reimagining the classifieds experience, with a focus on trust and convenience, to make secondhand the first choice. The Ox Street team inspects and authenticates every pair of sneakers before it reaches its buyers. Carousell’s advanced and intuitive technology, extensive reach, and marketplace liquidity across a wide range of categories, combined with Ox Street’s authentication capabilities will further propel the mutual goal of creating an experience where transacting secondhand is as convenient and trusted as buying first hand.

Quek Siu Rui, the co-founder and CEO of Carousell, commented they are excited to acquire Ox Street in their mission to inspire the world to start selling, and they share common values in being user-first and in building communities, as evidenced by the brand love they have created among their dedicated community of sneakerheads and fashion enthusiasts, especially among the Gen Z.

“They have also built trust by authenticating every pair of sneakers that gets transacted on the Ox Street marketplace. We see immense opportunity in bringing that capability and their learnings to double down on our recommerce efforts. Most of all, we see this acquisition as joining forces to accelerate our shared vision of making second hand the first choice,” said Rui.

Meanwhile, Gijs Verheijke, Ox Street’s founder and CEO, shared that they initially started a conversation with Carousell on partnering up to provide authentication as a service for sneakers, but as discussions progressed they found so much common ground in how they see the future, that they decided it would be much more powerful for Ox Street to fully join the Carousell group.

“With Carousell’s reach and technological capabilities, we can supercharge Ox Street’s ability to innovate and reach more buyers and sellers. Last but not least, we have a lot of shared values and found a very strong cultural fit, and I cannot be more excited to partner with Siu Rui, Marcus, Lucas, and the entire Carousell team,” said Verheijke.

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Technology Featured Global

InMobi acquires insights platform Appsumer, bolsters performance marketing solutions for brands

Singapore –  Independent marketing cloud company, InMobi, has just announced the acquisition of Appsumer, performance insights platform for mobile app advertisers, to bring unified intelligence to mobile marketing and deeper understanding of marketing effectiveness.

Appsumer offers marketers no-code integrations with more than 100 marketing channels, customizable dashboards for clients to build and track goals and KPIs, and daily processing of marketing data for more accurate measurement and informed decision making. Through the acquisition, Appsumer’s self-serve technology platform, intellectual property, and team will support InMobi’s end-to-end content, monetization, and marketing stack, as well as empower marketers to assess their performance marketing spend all in one place. 

With third-party identifiers losing their dominance, which complicates the measurement and attribution process, it’s more important than ever that marketers have a clean, crisp view of how their marketing channels are performing. Appsumer’s workspace will allow customers a single source of truth to track performance, analyze results, and use that data to plan more effective campaigns.

Furthermore, InMobi and Appsumer will be building an operating system that makes understanding user acquisition funnels easier by using AI to build predictive capabilities into the platform, helping growth marketers more quickly experiment and iterate to optimize results from their user acquisition strategies.

Shumel Lais, Appsumer’s CEO and founder, will also be joining InMobi and will continue to lead the division, charting its future growth path and product roadmap. The full Appsumer team will be joining InMobi to ensure client service continuity and further develop and support the analytics and automation offering under the InMobi umbrella.

Commenting on the acquisition, Lais said that joining forces with InMobi potentially represents an exponential growth path for their pioneering technology.

“I’m excited that Appsumer has the opportunity to get into the hands of even more developers and marketing teams worldwide to leverage our best of breed offering, making it the default home for growth marketing,” said Lais.

Meanwhile, Abhay Singhal, the co-founder of InMobi Group and CEO of InMobi Marketing Solutions, shared that Appsumer brings a next-generation approach for advertisers to better understand the efficacy of their marketing efforts across multiple channels that growth marketing teams employ daily. 

“The solution makes it easy to map all mobile performance media investment to business outcomes. Shumel and his team are well-known industry leaders and visionaries in their field and will play an instrumental role in driving InMobi’s next wave of growth and innovation,” said Singhal.

Appsumer will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary within the global InMobi organizational structure.

The acquisition of Appsumer comes after the recent launch of InMobi’s InMobi Telco, aimed at helping mobile carriers and handset manufacturers optimize their customer experiences and diversify their revenue streams.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Nunn Media announces acquisition of performance agency Alley

Melbourne, Australia – Australia’s independent media agency, Nunn Media, has announced its acquisition of performance agency Alley.

Alley supports in-house marketing teams with performance marketing campaigns that include data, media buying, and ad creative. It is currently working with various digital brands, including youfoodz, tinder, and Reece, as well as Netgear. 

Alley’s Sydney business comprises over 50 team members, providing end-to-end communication capabilities, which deems to be one of the largest and most advanced groups in the market.

Through the acquisition, Alley’s leading capabilities in search, social, programmatic, e-commerce, and digital creative will be forming a powerful, integrated business proposition with Nunn Media.

Matt Nunn, Nunn Media’s CEO and founder, said that this is an important acquisition for the group giving them leading digital capabilities in the Sydney market, as well as e-commerce and digital creative capabilities at a national level, with Alley recently becoming a Shopify premium partner.

“Alley is a key component to our vision and three-year strategy. Nick is an outstanding leader and aligned to not just our business strategy but to our culture and values. On behalf of our entire Melbourne team and our Sydney business, led by Chris Walton, we welcome Alley to the group and are very much looking forward to what we will achieve together,” said Nunn.

Meanwhile, Nick Lavidge, Alley Group’s CEO, noted that their success in using performance marketing to drive financial outcomes for the clients has grown Alley at exponential rates, and as they continue to mature, they realize that their blue-chip e-commerce and performance clients could benefit from a broader media mix, outside digital performance media, where they have traditionally excelled.

“Working together with the Nunn team, we clearly saw the synergies between the two agencies that could provide even more value to our existing and future clients. Additionally, we were drawn to their history, culture, and clear articulation of their strategy and vision which closely aligned to ours. We are thrilled to enter into the next phase of the Alley journey with Nunn Media,” said Lavidge.

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Technology Featured APAC

Emplifi acquires live stream vid platform Go Instore, offers improved in-store experiences online

Singapore – Customer experience platform Emplifi has announced the acquisition of the live streaming video platform, Go Instore. This move aims to give B2C brands faster connection-to-conversion experiences in-store and online.

Go Instore enables video-powered retail by connecting online customers with in-store product experts using immersive HD live video. With this, Go Instore and Emplifi’s leading-edge video technology will be providing brands with a new channel, which they can engage with and serve their customers, strengthening Emplifi’s omnichannel approach. 

Moreover, with the addition of Go Instore, Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud, which offers a multitude of marketers’ social commerce capabilities, will now have enhanced capabilities to be the brand’s partner in offering customer experience-focused services.

Mark Zablan, Emplifi’s CEO, commented that this acquisition marks another important milestone on the journey towards being the CX platform of choice for brands who want to give their customers great experiences at every touchpoint on their journey.

“We’re excited to start helping brands connect and convert consumers more quickly and directly through the power of live stream video and social media,” said Zablan.

Meanwhile, André Hordagoda, the co-founder of Go Instore, said that they are incredibly excited to join forces with Emplifi to deliver even more powerful shopping experiences across their client’s websites and social channels. 

Aman Khurana, Go Instore’s co-founder, believes that Emplifi’s vision, innovation, and speed-to-market align perfectly with Go Instore. 

“Together we will accelerate retail transformation with social commerce,” said Khurana.

Coming off the recent rebranding and fusion of Astute Solutions and Socialbakers companies which announced the brand launch of Emplifi, the CX platform’s acquisition of Go Instore will help in strengthening its position as a CX leader and provides brands with an end-to-end platform for social marketing, social commerce, and omnichannel service and care.

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Technology Featured Global

Sitecore acquires AI search platform Reflektion

United States – Digital experience management software Sitecore has acquired Reflektion, the AI-powered digital search platform that understands and predicts patterns, context, and needs in order to convert shoppers into buyers. This move aims to help marketers solve the information overload that is characteristic of traditional search solutions.

The acquisition, which is a continuation of Sitecore’s ongoing US$1.2b growth plan, will enable Sitecore to engage, educate, and empower shoppers to make purchase decisions faster, increasing buyer confidence, long-term revenue, and overall customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Sitecore said that about 93% of all online experiences start with search, making it an integral part of the customer buying journey. With Reflektion, it will elevate search into a conversational, guided experience that provides more personal, accessible, and tailored answers for the customer. 

In addition, Reflektion’s platform will also be leveraged across all aspects of the Sitecore digital experience platform, from transforming product data into an understandable consumer-friendly language to understanding shopper intent, behavior, and product preferences.

Steve Tzikakis, Sitecore’s CEO, shared that the search is about more than just entering words into a box and hoping for the right results, as it is the cornerstone of a digital experience, and with Reflektion, a brand can add various types of search including personalized search, preview search, conversational search, and voice search.

“This reduces customers’ effort and anxiety to find exactly what they need – with more convenience and speed – and leads to increased customer satisfaction with more conversions and revenue. Acquiring Reflektion reinforces Sitecore’s position as the leader in digital experience technologies that meet customers at the moment with more relevant, intuitive, and human experiences,” said Tzikakis.

Meanwhile, Amar Chokhawala, the founder and CEO at Reflektion, noted that since its inception eight years ago, Reflektion has become recognized for its unique approach to search-product discovery technology, and their technology uses AI to adjust each consumer’s digital experience, at the moment, based on diverse data from multiple channels.

“I am proud of the passionate team at Reflektion who has been successful in bringing our AI-first approach to many site-search deployments for large e-commerce and retailers’ websites. With Sitecore, the Reflektion team and customers will be able to continue to leverage the enhancement of digital experiences, leading to continued growth and results for all,” said Chokhawala.

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Technology Featured Global

Contentsquare acquires Hotjar to assist businesses in providing better digital experiences

Singapore – Digital experience analytics company Contentsquare has acquired product experience insights platform Hotjar, to serve the global market end-to-end, enabling businesses of every size to deliver better digital experiences to their customers. 

The acquisition aims to build on deep synergies between both businesses to expand the companies’ global market reach and accelerate their shared vision of better experiences for all. Through this, Hotjar will be learning from Contentsquare’s advanced technology and resources, while Contentsquare will be benefiting from Hotjar’s reach and product-led approach. 

With a combined team of over 1,000 people, both companies will be working closely together to make the most of their joint expertise but will continue to operate independently for the foreseeable future.

Jonathan Cherki, Contentsquare’s CEO and founder, noted that people today expect great digital experiences whenever they are connected, whether they are interacting with big global brands or startups and growing businesses.

“Coming together with Hotjar allows us to broaden our reach to bring business-critical insights to every type of business across all industries,” said Cherki.

Meanwhile, David Darmanin, Hotjar’s Founder, commented that they could not be more excited to be joining forces with Contentsquare, and they built Hotjar to inspire product improvements by enabling businesses of all sizes to have empathy with their end-users. 

“Joining the Contentsquare family enables us to accelerate our work towards this vision, double-down on our investments in innovation and thereby unlock even more value for our customers,” said Darmanin.

Moreover, Contentsquare and Hotjar will be helping businesses understand people’s behaviors online, enabling them to deliver the best possible experience, fix obstacles along the customer journey, and improve engagement. In the context of massive digital acceleration, access to these types of insights is critical to business success.

Together, Contentsquare and Hotjar will be providing insights to close to 1 million websites in over 180 countries, analyzing trillions of web and mobile app behaviors and micro-gestures on sites that process billions of dollars in transactions daily by using AI to turn this data into recommendations.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PropertyGuru closes off acquisition of iProperty Malaysia, thinkofliving Thailand

Singapore The digital property marketplace in SEA, PropertyGuru Group, has successfully completed the acquisition of digital property advertising firm iProperty Malaysia and real estate portal thinkofliving Thailand.

PropertyGuru, which has a presence across Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand, empowers property seekers with more than 2.8 million real estate listings, in-depth insights, and solutions that enable them to make confident property decisions.

With the acquisition, PropertyGuru will now be owning all of the shares in global digital firm REA Group’s entities in Malaysia and Thailand, which include Malaysia’s iProperty and Brickz, and Thailand’s thinkofliving and Prakard. In exchange, REA now has an approximate 18%2 equity interest in PropertyGuru.

Furthermore, the acquisition will be accelerating PropertyGuru’s ambition of building SEA’s property Trust Platform, a platform that connects the region’s property markets into an efficient ecosystem that builds trusted relationships between agents, consumers, developers, valuers, and banks by driving greater transparency and efficiency.

iProperty Malaysia and thinkofliving will be continuing to operate separately, and in the coming months, PropertyGuru will be working to ensure the smooth integration of the businesses while delivering the same market-leading value and services to property seekers, agents, and developers. This will include leveraging collective strengths in technology, innovation, and data to offer consumers access to information and insights to support their homeownership aspirations in the region.

Hari V. Krishnan, PropertyGuru’s chief executive officer and managing director, commented that they are delighted to bring two strong businesses into the group, and together, PropertyGuru believes that they are better positioned to deliver even more innovation to property seekers, equipping them with the insights they need to make confident decisions. 

“By combining PropertyGuru’s strengths in technology and proprietary data with iProperty.com.my’s footprint and relationships with developers and agents, we can digitize the Malaysian property ecosystem and accelerate our goal of creating Southeast Asia’s property Trust Platform. We look forward to working together to serve property consumer preferences in Southeast Asia,” said Krishnan.

Meanwhile, Owen Wilson, the chief executive officer of REA Group, said that the completion of this transaction creates the most compelling PropTech group in Southeast Asia. 

“As the digitization of the property market continues to accelerate across the region, PropertyGuru is perfectly placed to build on its leadership position and capture future growth opportunities. We look forward to being part of this exciting journey,” said Wilson.

PropertyGuru also said that coupled with its market leadership across the region’s five major markets, the group will be positioned to capture the significant opportunities in the region, which deems to become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030.

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Technology Featured Global

Qualtrics to acquire conversational analytics platform Clarabridge

Singapore – Global experience management (XM) provider Qualtrics has announced that it has entered a definitive agreement with conversational analytics platform Clarabridge, during a stock transaction valued at US$1.1b.

Said acquisition will feature a merge of global-centric features: Clarabridge’s sophisticated AI-powered platform that allows companies to capture and analyze customer feedback from indirect sources such as social media, emails, support calls, chats and product reviews, and Qualtrics’ platform for enabling organizations to ask their customers and employees the right questions to understand how they’re feeling about their company, products and brand experiences–– and then use that data to take action across their business.

For Zig Serafin, CEO at Qualtrics, with their acquisition of Clarabridge, they are accelerating their growth and leadership as a global experience management company and taking the category they created to an entirely new level.

“Together, we’ll give companies even greater power to build deep, trusted relationships with their customers and employees and deliver incredible experiences that everyone will love. We’re excited to welcome the Clarabridge team to Qualtrics,” Serafin stated.

Meanwhile, Mark Bishof, CEO at Clarabridge, commented that what they currently deliver is far more powerful as part of Qualtrics, and that they have had an incredible opportunity to accelerate their growth and innovation as part of Qualtrics.

“Clarabridge’s ability to help companies discover what their customers are saying about them across unstructured sources and provide meaningful, actionable insights is a perfect complement to the Qualtrics platform,” Bishof added.

Clarabridge’s platform has the power to discover and understand critical human nuances such as effort, emotion, and intent – capabilities that are unmatched in the market. Through highly sophisticated natural language understanding that spans 23 languages and more than 150 industry models, Clarabridge helps organizations discover how easy or challenging it was for a customer to accomplish their goal, the intensity of a customer’s feelings about the experience, and how that experience is likely to affect their willingness to do business with the company again.

With the combination of Clarabridge and Qualtrics, companies will be best-positioned to truly understand what customers and employees are saying across every channel and deliver personalized experiences at an incredible scale.

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Marketing Featured Global

Publicis Groupe signals new gen of identity-led retail media through acquisition of tech platform CitrusAd

Paris, France – Global advertising agency, Publicis Groupe, has announced that it has acquired CitrusAd, the SaaS platform based in Australia that helps retailers monetize their digital page views. The acquisition aims to create the industry-first global retail media offer based on real identity.

CitrusAd, which has a presence in 22 countries and 6 industries, optimizes brands’ marketing performances directly within retailer websites. It provides technology to more than 70 retailers globally and over 4,000 brands are utilizing their self-served platform.

Under the acquisition, Publicis Groupe will be combining CitrusAd’s onsite expertise with its data-tech platform Epsilon’s offsite retail media offering, both powered by the CORE ID, positioning the agency to lead the new generation of identity-led retail media, with transparent measurement validated by transactions.

Publicis Groupe’s CEO and Chairman Arthur Sadoun commented that they are delighted to welcome the CitrusAd team to Publicis, as their developed technology, coupled with Epsilon’s CORE ID, will enable CPG brands to grow faster and retailers to generate new sources of revenue to win in a platform world.

He added, “It will also give Publicis a strong competitive advantage in a channel that by 2025 should surpass traditional TV spend.”

Publicis Group believes that the merger will also provide its clients with three decisive competitive advantages in e-commerce, namely, growth, customer understanding, and consolidated measurement.

The move will enable its clients to accelerate their growth in this dynamic channel, by increasing conversion rate and maximizing return on ad spends. They will also be able to access superior customer understanding based on first-party data from retailers, equipping them for a cookieless world.

In addition, brands will be able to reach their customers both onsite (in-retailer ecosystems) and offsite (in publisher ecosystems), and measure in real-time the consolidated performance of their media investments, whatever the channel of conversions.

“Retailers and brands are entering uncharted territory as retail media grows and having Publicis supporting CitrusAd in its efforts, I know that our customers will reap the benefit of a century’s worth of media expertise combined with high-quality technology and a team of retail media experts,” said Brad Moran, the co-founder and CEO of CitrusAd.