ActiveCampaign raises $240m at a $3bn valuation
ActiveCampaign, which has built what it describes as a “customer experience automation” platform has closed a $240 million round of funding which means the Series C values the Chicago startup at over $3 billion.
The round is being led by a new investor, Tiger Global, with participation from another new backer Dragoneer, along with two companies who previously invested, Susquehanna Growth Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners. The round brings the company’s total raised to date to $360 million.
The pandemic has resulted in a surge of interest among businesses to do more online than ever before, this could be because many people were working from home and spending more time on the internet. That has led to ActiveCampaign growing to a customer base of , up from 90,000 16 months ago.
“Today, with over 145,000 customers, we want to accelerate CXA even faster. That’s why we’ve raised a $240M Series C round of funding — to help more businesses create great experiences for their customers.” founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign, Jason VandeBoom.
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign itself as a ‘category-defining Customer Experience Automation Platform that helps over 145,000 businesses in 170+ countries meaningfully connect and engage with their customers.’ They create optimised customer experiences by automating behind-the-scenes marketing, sales, and support processes. ‘Businesses of all sizes have access to hundreds of pre-built automations that combine email marketing, marketing automation, CRM, and machine learning for powerful cross-channel orchestration, segmentation, and personalization.’
The company also launched functionality like pages and web personalisation, plus a predictive feature that helps to navigate over 500 automation recipes. The platform grew to over 850 technology partners, which is up from 200 as of January 2020. ActiveCampaign has also plans to grow to over 1,000 employees by the end of 2021, after adding 300 in 2020.
“The need for enhanced customer experiences is fueling growth at ActiveCampaign and the growth of businesses around the globe. Companies are becoming increasingly frustrated with legacy marketing automation tools and customer relationship management platforms that only solve for one part of the customer experience,” Mr VandeBoom told .
Harnessing APIs to unlock and operationalise your data
Data is the fuel that powers modern businesses. It’s widely accepted that unlocking insight from data is key to driving successful digital transformation and competitive advantage. Yet the gap between understanding the importance of data-driven insight and being able to achieve it remains stubbornly wide, as critical information remains locked away in silos. To overcome these challenges, businesses must try a new approach. API-led connectivity offers a reusable, standardised way to integrate data across multiple platforms, systems, and applications. When done right, it can be the fast-track to IT and business teams productivity, innovation, and growth.
A data explosion
The past decade has seen a data explosion. Analyst firm IDC predicted that over 59 zettabytes (ZBs) of data would be “created, captured, copied, and consumed” in the world last year alone. In the next three years it’s predicted to continue growing at a CAGR of 26%, during which time more data will have been created than during the past 30 years. At the top of any CIO or business leader’s wish-list is the ability to extract insight from these vast troves of information in order to make more effective decisions. According to McKinsey, data-driven companies are 1.5 times more likely to report revenue growth of greater than 10%.
Unfortunately, just like much of the population for much of the last 12 months, data is locked down and isolated. MuleSoft’s 2021 Connectivity Benchmark report reveals that data silos and existing IT infrastructure are making it difficult for most firms to integrate new technologies and make changes to IT systems and applications. In fact, currently less than third of enterprise applications on average are integrated, so there is still significant room for improvement. Those organisations that are able to connect the dots between their data stand to realise increased customer engagement, business transformation and innovation benefits.
Journey towards API-led integration
Legacy custom code point-to-point integration may have been fine a decade ago when enterprises ran relatively few applications. But today’s businesses need something altogether more agile. Point-to-point can be expensive and complex, which means IT ends up spending too much of its time on maintenance and not enough on innovation.
This is where APIs come in, offering a more seamless and cost-effective way to drive integration through discoverability, self-service, and reuse. Rather than building the same point-to-point integration for use in 10 different projects, which requires each to be maintained individually as unique sets of code, a single API can be developed to be reused across them all. An API-led approach therefore means companies only have to unlock each data set just once to empower business teams across the organisation to use that data in their own projects.
The value of this approach can be extended even further with today’s low-code tools, which support drag-and-drop integrations. This can help to ease the burden on IT teams and empower business users to deliver their own integration projects.
The LendingTree experience
One company that has driven major improvements through reusable APIs is online loans marketplace LendingTree. Originally its 16 different business units were operating with siloed, incomplete data, meaning 360-degree customer insight was impossible—affecting sales and the end-user experience. The firm was not able to capture or analyse call centre data, limiting its ability to improve experiences for its customers.
Using APIs to draw in data from multiple systems and databases in real-time, LendingTree was able to consolidate its customer data on Salesforce to create a single source of truth for cross-departmental teams. This approach empowers service agents by giving them access to individuals’ loan application history from a single console, drastically reducing the time it takes them to consolidate various sources of customer data. As such, its API-led integration approach has allowed LendingTree to free up time and resources to launch new capabilities faster.
The future’s digital
Organisations have been affected in many different ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. But across the board, the desire among business leaders over the coming months will be to emerge from the crisis stronger than ever. Data-driven insight will be vital to this achievement, as businesses push ahead with digital innovation. API-led integration can help them to ensure that data strategies are long-lasting and sustainable, paving the way for long-term success and a brighter digital future.