Velocidi LLC is taking its first funding round under unusual circumstances: It doesn’t need the money to survive.
Founded in 2010, the marketing analytics company has been profitable for the past year-and-a-half. It plans to use its new $12 million in series A funding to invest in sales, marketing and development of a new artificial intelligence-powered platform that will be specific to its marketing and advertising clients.
The New York-based company combines elements of business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing in a platform that’s optimized for companies that conduct large advertising and social media campaigns across multiple media outlets, including television, print, radio and online. It seems that pulling together metrics from all those sources is a challenge.
“Marketing has a small-data problem,” said Chief Executive David Dunne, who was previously chief operating officer at Edelman Digital, the big public relations agency. The data that marketers need to collect to assess the performance of their campaigns is scattered across a variety of advertising agencies, media outlets and channel marketing partners. “Agencies and brands are struggling to bring that data together to organize and derive insights from it,” Dunne said. “The bigger BI tools can’t do that.”
That’s in large part because the language of media differs by platform. For example, print advertising looks for impressions while television counts for viewers and digital seeks clicks and shares. “The data is hard to bring together and hard to get to work together,” Dunne said.
On top of that, each player in a marketing campaign usually has its own tools, databases and schedules, “Much of the data clients get today is weeks or months old,” Dunne said. “We want to shift them from the rear-view mirror to a forward-looking perspective. “
The language of marketing
Velocidi’s platform is built on an analytics engine underlying a taxonomy that supports such marketing-specific conventions as campaigns and reach metrics. Its specialty is ingesting data from a variety of different media metrics sources and normalizing it to a common format for analysis.
Dunne said the company has done a good job so far of figuring out how to ingest, cleanse and analyze data. It will use the cash infusion to develop what he called the “insights and activation” pillars of its strategy.
Insights identifies correlations that may not be evident on the surface, such as environmental factors or news events that affect advertising performance. Activation takes action based upon data, such as triggering an automated ad buy.
Velocidi doesn’t list any customer references on its website. “We work with some of the largest agencies in the world, but they generally don’t like to talk about their customers,” Dunne said. He said the customer base includes many household names.
The funding round was led by Pilot Growth Equity Partners with additional investment from the asset management holding firm Neuberger Berman Group LLC.