Investors are taking things personally.

Venture capitalists invested $56 million in a Series D funding round into BloomReach, a Mountain, View, Calif.-based cloud personalization platform company. Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Salesforce Ventures participated in the funding round. Marcus Ryu, CEO and co-founder of Guidewire Software, Inc., joins BloomReach’s board of directors.

“I’m honored to join the board of BloomReach, a company with the strategic clarity and technology lead to be a major player in the domain of digital commerce,” Ryu said in a statement. “Equally important for me is confidence in the customer-focused culture and long-term orientation of the company. I see many of the same values in Raj and his leadership team that were important to my own entrepreneurial journey.”

BloomReach provides a single personalization platform that includes BloomReach’s applications for organic search, personalized site-search and navigation in addition to marketing and merchandising analytics. 

The products are now broken into two families, including:

  • BloomReach Commerce, encompassing BloomReach’s Organic Search and SNAP applications
  • BloomReach Compass, role-specific analytics providing machine-intelligence insights, KPI management and action-tracking for marketers and merchandisers

Security Updates for Lingotek

Lehi, Utah-based Lingotek announced this week application security improvements associated with its translation management platform. The updates include improved single sign-on (SSO) authentication, private cloud hosting environments and broader controls around cryptographic keys and certificates.

"At the heart of Lingotek is our focus of protecting our clients' data and content from the onslaught of cyber security threats,” Gary Sintay, vice president of engineering at Lingotek, said in a statement. “We understand the value of protecting our clients' brand, and we are committed to providing the safest, most secure experience possible. And we are not finished. Application and data security will remain a key focus within Lingotek products as cyber threats continue to escalate annually."

Lingotek partners with Amazon Web Services in an attempt to deliver customers more options to secure cloud infrastructures. The new features include:

  • Greater cryptographic key and digital certificate implementation, including SSL certificates and EV root certificates that support data encryption
  • Tighter integration into third party enterprise applications allowing organizations to access automated, agile and high speed multilingual content publishing operations and an improved security posture.
  • Aggregation of translated content for secure syndication across any connected system to unify content messaging

New Money for NewVoiceMedia 

Cloud-based contact center and sales platform provider NewVoiceMedia this week announced a $30 million round of funding. New investor BGF Ventures joined existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), Eden Ventures, Highland Capital Partners Europe, Salesforce Ventures and Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) in this funding round. 

NewVoiceMedia officials said they will use the money to grow globally, especially in North America. Their cloud customer contact platform integrates with Salesforce to deliver a “personalized and unique customer experience and drive a more effective sales and marketing team,” officials said.

NewVoiceMedia, based in London, was named one of the UK’s top 50 growth-stage technology companies to join Tech City’s “Future Fifty Class of 2016.”

“At BGF Ventures we look to back UK companies that have the ambition and potential to be global technology leaders. We believe NewVoiceMedia will be one of the most successful software companies to emerge from Europe this decade,” Rory Stirling of BGF Ventures said in a statement. 

IoT Provider Gets Cash Boost

GE Ventures and OurCrowd led a $20 million Series A funding round for Petach Tikva, Israel-based mPrest, a provider of monitoring and control software for the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Officials said the company plans to use the money to develop its international business and “scale up to meet the expanding needs of the IoT.” Established in 2000 near Tel Aviv by Nathan Barak, mPrest developed the Battle Management Control (BMC) system for Israel’s mobile air defense system, Iron Dome.

Company officials said they see IoT growth in the areas of real-time monitoring, prediction, optimization and control capabilities.

Vidyard Lands $35 Million 

Kitchener, Ontario video marketing platform provider Vidyard announced a $35 million Series C financing round this week. Battery Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, OMERS Ventures, iNovia Capital and SoftTech VC. 

According to a report from Cisco, video now accounts for 64 percent of all Internet traffic. 

“Video is revolutionizing marketing, and Vidyard is clearly innovating in this space,” Michael Brown, general partner at Battery Ventures, said in a statement. “We’re convinced that video will not only grow as a strategic platform for marketing and sales, but also as a critical solution for other business functions across every industry. Vidyard can help businesses realize the full potential of video, not just as a content medium, but as an incredible source of business analytics and customer insight.”

Brown will join Vidyard’s board of directors. The financing comes one year after Vidyard raised an $18 million Series B financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners. To date, Vidyard has raised more than $60 million.

Product Loyalty

Also this week, Chicago-based customer analytics provider ClientLoyalty launched a new collaborative cloud based platform that uses analytics to provide transparency for dialogues between buyers and suppliers. 

ClientLoyalty's software analyzes direct feedback, social and news sentiments and operational data to help buyers and suppliers communicate better. The software aggregates the data and produces a Loyalty Index for users to better understand the strength of each buyer-supplier relationship.

It incorporates industry standards of Net Promoter System® (NPS®), Six Sigma, predictive analytics and benchmarking.

PostUp Targets Media with Update

Austin, Texas-based email marketing provider PostUp this week announced the launch of its Audience Development Solution, a full service program specifically designed for publishers and media companies seeking to grow their email audiences and increase consumer engagement.

"In addition to being the only ESP with email capture tools built into our platform, we are thrilled to be the only to offer a full-service audience development solution designed with the unique needs of media and publishing companies in mind," Tony D'Anna, CEO of PostUp, said in a statement. "We continue to roll out new solutions specifically focused on serving the publisher and media company sector. This latest offering is focused on the foundation and greatest source of revenue in any email marketing program — i.e. its audience."

All About Content for Inkling

On to San Francisco, where enterprise content platform provider Inkling released a platform this week that provides enterprises with “dynamic, engaging” content on mobile devices and PCs.  

The platform — Inkling for Enterprise — includes Inkdocs, which allow living documents to flow across devices. Inkling’s integrated authoring and collaboration environment allows non-technical users to “easily create and update Inkdocs,” according to officials.

“Customers and employees of all backgrounds live their lives on phones, but today’s enterprises are still emailing customers PDFs or, worse, shipping employees binders,” Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis said in a statement. “The desire for change spans every industry: from major accounting firms like KPMG to retail organizations like Gap, Inc., hospitality companies like Princess Cruises, to medical companies like Medtronic. Each is working with Inkling to embrace the new mobile reality and turn a challenge into a competitive advantage.”

Calls for Diversity in Media, Marketing

The IAB Education Foundation and its iDiverse initiative announced this week the launch of a job placement and training pilot program to help diverse and underrepresented minority candidates to join the digital media and marketing workforce. The program’s four-month curriculum will be created in partnership with the San Mateo County Community College District, based in Silicon Valley, and Oasis Learning, a competency-based curriculum provider and technology platform. 

Students can take the course in-person in a classroom setting at San Mateo County Community College District or online through Patten University.

Applicants for the program will be recruited through non-profit organizations such as The Mission Continues, Women in Technology, Marcus Graham Project, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Costs for those selected to enroll will be covered by a combination of public and private donations. The first classes are expected to begin in spring of this year.

“Training is the first vital step in generating a more diverse workforce across the digital media and marketing arena — but we’re making sure that the iDiverse initiative goes much further,” Michael Theodore, senior vice president of learning and development for IAB and general manager of the IAB Education Foundation, said in a statement. “By bringing entry-level education together with benchmark testing and hands-on job placement, we’re expecting that this pilot program will lead to expanded efforts and a real move toward increasing racial, gender, economic, and cultural diversity in our industry’s workforce.”

Title image "unwanted" (CC BY 2.0) by frankieleon