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Technology Featured Global

CX automation platform yellow.ai raises US$78.15m to amplify global presence

Singapore – Global customer experience (CX) platform yellow.ai has announced the conclusion of its Series C funding, which has raised around US$78.15m, which brings the total funding raised so far by yellow.ai to US$102.15m.

The company aims to use the funding to strengthen its leadership in more than 50 countries including India, Southeast Asia, UK, Middle East, and Latin America, as well as establishing a strong presence in the U.S., adding 70 employees to its more than 500 global headcounts.

Said funding was led by WestBridge Capital along with Sapphire Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures, as well as renewed participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners.

For Raghu Ravinutala, CEO and co-founder at yellow.ai, the company has ‘broken out’ of the crowded virtual-assistant market with its automation-first with a human-assist model, to deliver a higher customer satisfaction and incremental revenue growth to it’s enterprise clients. 

“With our rapid client and revenue expansion in Singapore and across the world, we’re geared to becoming the global leader in the CX Automation space and are bullish on building our product, partnerships, teams, and community to truly democratize AI in the near future,” Ravintula stated.

With the fresh infusion of capital, yellow.ai will deepen investments towards global expansion, hiring top talent across regions, and applied research and development (R&D) in hyper-automation. Currently, the company’s AI-powered bots deliver automated CX on more than 35 chat and voice channels, across more than 100 languages, handling billion interactions every quarter. 

According to yellow.ai, one international financial services company was able to leverage its virtual assistants to generate US$100m in upsell revenue in three years.

As part of this large endeavor and to support the global war against COVID-19, yellow.ai also launched ‘yellowAI Cares’, a CSR initiative to empower organizations with COVID-19 help-related omnichannel chatbots. With no prerequisites or conditions attached, any NGO, hospital, support group or business in SEA can get an AI chatbot built by yellow.ai to drive crisis efforts.

yellow.ai will provide access to an omnichannel chatbot on any text platform for COVID-19 related use cases. These could support real-time services like providing medical information related to plasma donation, oxygen/hospital bed availability, vaccine registrations, scheduling appointments, collecting patient data, mental health assistance, handling insurance queries and more.

When designed and deployed effectively, chatbots may help prevent misinformation, aid in symptom detection, engender infection-limiting behaviors, encourage positive health impacting behaviors, while reducing psychological damage caused by fear and isolation.

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Technology Featured Global

MoEngage’s latest US$32.5m funding to accelerate global growth strategy

Singapore – Customer engagement platform MoEngage has announced that it has successfully raised US$32.5m in funding, which will be vital for the company’s acceleration of their global growth strategy, particularly for the greater benefit of their proprietary platform.

Said funding was led by Multiples Alternate Asset Management, with participation from current investors Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital and Matrix Partners.

In addition to their visions of global growth, MoEngage aims as well to use the funding to further strengthen the product’s AI and predictive capabilities.

For Raviteja Dodda, co-founder and CEO of MoEngage, their recent funding speaks to the continuous growth of the company, noting that they have seen rapid global adoption of insights-led customer engagement. 

He also added that their customer base and recurring revenue has doubled in the last 12 months and our business growth in the U.S. and Europe has tripled in the first half of 2021 as compared to the second half of 2020, hence this funding will help their company to further accelerate global growth and product innovation.

“Our rapid growth can be attributed to investments in the areas of product innovation and customer success. Over the last two years we have made significant investments in Sherpa, our AI engine, to add a layer of intelligence. Today, our AI engine delivers actionable insights to determine users who have a propensity to churn, the best performing customer journey path, most preferred channel, ideal frequency, and the right time to communicate. We will continue our investments to extend our lead in this space,” Dodda said.

He added, “As the digital space becomes competitive, we envision brands shifting from a rule-based tool to an intelligent platform that empowers marketers and product owners with AI-driven insights and optimization.”

As part of this funding round, MoEngage also completed an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) buyback of US$1.5m for its current and former employees to acknowledge their belief in the vision and contribution over the years. This is the first ESOP buyback by the company or its investors.

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Technology Featured

SG-based martech Affable.ai raises US$2M to boost influencer marketing platform

Singapore – Martech startup Affable.ai has announced that it has raised US$2m in total funding, which will be used by the startup to bolster its influencer marketing platform to more clients globally who seek aid on running high-impact influencer marketing campaigns.

The funding was backed by venture capital companies Prime Venture Partners, Decacorn Capital, and SGInnovate.

Founded in 2017 by Nisarg Shah and Swayam Narain, Affable’s end-to-end Influencer Marketing Platform allows brands and agencies to streamline their influencer strategies throughout the planning, discovery, activation, and reporting phases. Affable uses advanced machine learning and big data analytics to help brands find influencers, manage and measure campaign performance. 

With the influencer marketing process being extremely manual, time-consuming and completely based on guesswork, Affable provides brands with data-driven insights and analytics to help streamline their micro-influencer marketing process.

Affable also utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to create accurate influencer-brand mapping and measuring campaign ROIs. In addition, Affable indexes all the social media users and identifies potential influencers that a brand could work with. 

Using Affable, marketers can find influencers, manage them campaign-wise, and measure post-campaign analytics such as engagement from in-target audience, influencer success(as a group and individually), measure the overall effectiveness of the campaign, as well as measure clicks and sales.

According to Nisarg Shah, CEO and co-founder at Affable.ai, they see a huge opportunity in working with brands to enable the much needed, data-driven influencer marketing campaigns, as the brands and agencies, they work with reinforce their belief in the need for analytics to streamline the micro-influencer marketing process. 

“Prime brings a depth of experience in scaling global SaaS companies, operational expertise, as well as a strong network that we can leverage during our growth phase and we are very excited to partner with them. At the same time, participation from our existing investors is a great endorsement for us,”

Affable currently serves a multitude of over 45 top brands and agency clients including Huawei, Wipro, Pomelo, Fresh, Omnicom, dentsu, and WE Communications. The company tracks more than three Million Influencers across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.

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Platforms Featured Global

Anzu.io’s US$9M funding to fuel in-game ad platform globally

Tel Aviv, Israel – In-game advertising platform Anzu.io has announced the conclusion of its funding series, successfully raising US$9M to aid the company’s global expansion of its in-game advertising platform, with the help of venture capital groups BITKRAFT Ventures and HBSE Ventures, as well as marketing services organization WPP and Sony Innovation Fund, the corporate venture capital arm of multinational conglomerate Sony.

The funding series has also seen the participation of venture capitals Alumni Ventures Group and Goal Ventures, as well as angel investors Marc Merrill, co-founder, co-chairman, and former co-CEO of Riot Games, and Dylan Collins, co-founder and CEO of SuperAwesome, a kid-safe ad platform recently acquired by Epic Games.

Anzu.io’s funding series coincides with the increasing popularity and market ‘boom’ of the gaming industry. Statistics from market intelligence group Mordor Intelligence estimate that the gaming industry’s value is expected to be around US$257B by 2025.

“Gaming is one activity that has exploded over the past year and increasingly an important advertising channel. In partnership with Anzu, together with our agencies, we can make it simpler for them to reach the growing audience in the esports and gaming space,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP.

Through the accumulated funding, Anzu.io will be pushing its presence globally starting with the United States, followed by Singapore and China, and other core locations to be announced. With partner brands including game publishers Ubisoft, Lion Castle, and Nacon and global brands Pepsico, Samsung, American Eagle, and Vodafone, Anzu.io will feature advertisements of partner brands through programmatic technology blending of real-world ads into video games, esports tournaments, and live streams, enhancing games’ realism and transforming game objects into valuable advertising opportunities.

“Anzu has been delivering the technology they promised and growing their industry footprint. We are excited to join this funding round and support Anzu, entering a new phase of growth in in-game advertising. The company’s gamer-first attitude will enable developers to access new business models and bring advertisers closer to gamer audiences without disturbing gameplay,” says Gen Tsuchikawa, CEO and chief investment officer at Innovation Growth Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund.

Meanwhile, Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO at Anzu commented, “We are proud to have global leaders in advertising, entertainment, gaming, esports, and venture capital invest in Anzu’s next stage of growth. These trailblazers are the perfect combination of strategic partners to help us maintain our dominating position as we enter 2021.”

For Jens Hilgers, founding general partner at BITKRAFT, their recent participation at Anzu.io’s funding series means redefining the aspect of modern in-game advertising.

“Since our initial investment, the Anzu team has built the most sophisticated platform to deliver blended in-game advertising at scale in the higher-end games segment. The impressive line up of game integrations combined with brands executing unique campaigns on the platform has validated Anzu’s market position and technology,” Hilgers commented.

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SME Featured ANZ

Aussie startup Metigy’s latest funding round aims to take SME reach globally

Sydney, Australia – SME marketing company Metigy in Australia has recently concluded its funding round, which the startup will use in expanding its services globally.

The funding, closing at USD 20M, will be initially used to expand its business to the United States and Southeast Asia, specifically in Singapore. Furthermore, the funding will also aid in growing the company’s product and engineering teams in Australia.

We’ve had fantastic growth so far but it’s just the beginning — there’s a massive opportunity to help the nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S. and 150 million businesses across South East Asia. According to Google, 97% of SEAsian SMEs have no ad tech or martech solutions and also lack the supply of talent to meet that demand. Innovative technology developed with the SME in mind is the only way to solve this problem

David Fairfull (pictured left), CEO and co-founder at Metigy

He also added,“We created Metigy to make digital marketing an effective tool for all types of businesses, not just those with massive marketing budgets. Half of all small businesses fail within the first two years, and marketing — or a lack of effective marketing — is always one of the key reasons. We want to improve those odds and give them a fighting chance.”

The startup is working closely with Google and telecommunications company Optus, and has created strategic partnerships with companies such as Singapore’s SingTel, who co-sell Metigy’s tools to add value to their own business customer relationships.

Speaking about the funding round, Darien Jagger, lead investor at Cygnet Capital, states that Metigy’s fast expansion pushed the venture capital to invest in the startup.

“Cygnet was an early-stage investor in Metigy and after seeing their impressive growth, it absolutely made sense to lead this current raise. Completing the raise 100% oversubscribed in this market with an all Australian investor group is a testament to the solid business the team has built. Strategically, this also places Metigy firmly on the path to remaining Australian based,” Jagger stated.