New York City-based startup Sailthru today announced that it had raised $19 million to grow its "Smart Data" platform and staff up. The funding round was led by Benchmark Capital, with backing from AOL Ventures, DFJ Gotham and RRE.
Sailthru offers businesses and marketers automated and personalized customer communications, recommendations and reporting services aimed at boosting customer engagement. As a result, according to Sailthru's website, "Our platform enables 100 percent behaviorally targeted emails, onsite and in-app recommendations, and SMS."
The company's technology is already having a measurable, even transformative, effect for some early clients.
According to Sailthru, clients have experienced up to a 200 percent increase in pageviews and a three to five times increase in open emails. Campaign setup times have been reduced by 90 percent. Customers include popular sites and online networks including AOL, Thrillist, Fab.com and Business Insider.
In a blog post announcing the funding win, Sailthru CEO and co-founder Neil Capel explained how his company approaches the market and differs from other Big Data solutions.
"...The goal being to provide businesses the power to leverage users’ preferences, their unique digital likes and dislikes and - at the end of the day - use that knowledge to communicate to them as if they were a customer in a small shop," he wrote.
Essentially, Sailthru delivers its services by personalizing Big Data with its own automated analytics and decision-making engine, then tailoring marketing messages to suit each customer or site visitor.
"Unlike Big Data, which merely exists in a passive state and can often be overwhelming, Smart Data powers decisions. It’s the basis for a fundamental shift in communication and why we’ve seen businesses trust Sailthru for their communications, across all digital channels, in real-time," added Capel.
Sailthru reports that its business is taking off. It says revenues grew 270 percent over the past year. During the past few months, it doubled its staff to over 85 employees at its New York and San Francisco offices. Plans call for a London office to open later this year.
Sailthru isn't the only Big Data specialist to rake in VC funds.
In July, fellow New York City startup 33Across bagged $13 million for its Big Data social marketing platform. ClearStory raised $9 million in December to give Big Data analytics a user-friendly makeover. And just last week, Boston-based Big Data marketing firm DataXu banked $27 million.