Looking to strengthen its analytics capabilities, Aimia today announced it will invest in Fractal Analytics as part of a "long-term partnership."
The Montreal, Quebec-based loyalty management company said it hopes to augment its 4,300-person workforce with the "best in class" analytics team from Fractal, a 14-year-old company best known for its flagship product, Customer Genomics. Fractal has about 700 employees and plans to add another 300 by year end.
"This strategic partnership gives Aimia dedicated access to specialized and scarce top talent as our global analytics business continues to grow," said Eric Monteiro, Aimia's chief strategy and analytics officer. "Fractal brings a mature and experienced team of sophisticated analytics professionals to meet the complex needs of our clients."
The companies said the investment will give Aimia, whose stock trades on the Toronto exchange, a minority stake in Fractal. But they didn't specify either the size of the investment or Aimia's ownership share in Fractal. Monteiro will join Fractal's board of directors. Executives of the two companies weren't immediately available to provide additional details.
In mid-2013, privately held Fractal, based in San Mateo, Calif., announced a $25 million cash infusion from TA Associates, a private equity growth fund that has raised about $18 billion in investment capital.
In addition to the exchange of talent and money, both parties get some practical advantages from of the deal. Aimia said it will "rapidly embed" Fractal's predictive analytics solutions into Aimia's loyalty services. The agreement also provides Fractal the benefits of Aimia's substantial experience in customer loyalty.
Aimia's loyalty programs include Aeroplan in Canada, Nectar in the UK and Nectar Italia. It owns stakes in Air Miles Middle East, Travel Club in Spain, Club Premier in Mexico, Prismah Fidelidade and i2c in Brazil, and China Rewards, which was China's first cash-based loyalty program. Aimia also holds a minority stake in Cardlyltics, which offers card-linked marketing services.
"CMOs across industries increasingly recognize the importance of deeply understanding their customers and hyper-personalizing their experience to inspire their loyalty," Fractal CEO Srikanth Velamakanni said in a statement. "Our partnership with Aimia gives companies access to the world's best loyalty analytics expertise."
Velamakanni, pictured above, co-founded Fractal in Mumbai in 2000, moving its headquarters to New Jersey in 2005 and then Silicon Valley in 2010.
In a CMSWire story that appeared in April, he explained how his company blends "a whole host of data" about individual preferences with real-time analytics to solve customer questions as they arise. He said a typical example might involve finding the best restaurant for lunch for an individual in downtown San Francisco based on the known tastes and budget of that visitor.
In an interview for that story, Velamakanni spoke of the challenge of linking individuals and their personal data across channels in real-time.
"This is a hot space from the standpoint of clients trying to solve these problems," he said at the time. "The expectations are huge for what this space can deliver."