When we founded LiveIntent six short years ago, I had no idea where we would end up. We simply knew that we could solve something that sounds very simple yet is incredibly complex: Putting marketing messages in email in a way that allowed brands to reach people where they were present and paying attention.
Flash-forward to today and we’ve serendipitously developed a platform that sits at the biggest shift in advertising in digital: people-based marketing. Our platform is a rare find in the rapidly evolving world of marketing. Since we use data-driven decisioning to serve marketing to the same individuals irrespective of browser or device, our offering has been even more in demand. We have become the go-to solution for brands and advertisers looking to market to people, not pixels.
It’s with this in mind that I’m proud to announce new funding: 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 of ours participated in the growth round.
Of course, this is about more than funding. Liron Gitig, a partner at FTV, will be joining our board. Liron and FTV bring unrivaled expertise in security and data and that insight will help us to continue our astronomical growth while being true to our values: ensuring the privacy and security of the over 90 million unique users we reach every month. FTV Capital also has a wide and institutionalized network of potential partners and clients, from which we can continue to grow our base of over 750 publishers and 450 brands.
We’ve had a lot of attention and a lot of validation in the past few months. We were named the #2 Fastest-Growing Company in all of New York by Crain’s, Forbes named us one of their Most Promising Companies of 2015 and we opened our first international offices.
None of this, absolutely none of it, would have been possible without our clients, without our partners, and without our employees, and it’s to them that I’m forever grateful.
When we reach roughly 90 million anonymized unique users per month, half of whom are on mobile, we do not do so alone. We do so powered by our amazing LiveIntent team, 174 of the smartest, most innovative, and flexible people I’ve ever had the pleasure to lead. We do so with over 750 publishers, each of whom saw our potential at a time when the email newsletter hadn’t even begun to reach its full potential. And we do so with brands and advertisers forward-looking enough to embrace a concept whose name hadn’t even been coined: people-based marketing, and understand its potential.
Our potential is limitless. In a world of fragmented attention, where the average American will soon own 5 devices, our platform is leading the way in targeting people. 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.
Since Facebook’s leap into the people-marketing space, we’ve seen a lot of new entrants into the space: Verizon/AOL, Oracle, Salesforce, Criteo, Marketo, Twitter and more have each leapt into the fray. We were a pioneer in people-based marketing and we couldn’t possibly be more excited for the market to catch up.
Using the power of the email address has put us in an enviable position. Email is the most popular activity on mobile and the email address acts as a digital passport. The email address is 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. And it’s our medium, where we’ve cut our teeth, and the reason why we’ve drawn so much attention and fulfilled so much promise.
Immediately, we’ll be enhancing our platform to offer marketers a privacy-safe closed loop solution that leverages the anonymized email address for people-based marketing. We’ll also be looking into further expansion!
It’s a very proud day for LiveIntent and it wouldn’t be possible without our community, so I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.