Connected cars are potential game-changers for the automotive industry. But what happens if a hacker penetrates a car powered by Internet of Things (IoT) technology?

Attackers can infiltrate and take control over car systems, even killing a car’s engine as it drives. Tel Aviv-based Karamba Security came out of stealth mode to jump on the opportunity to block these types of hackers. It launched its in-car security platform.

Karamba has purpose-built an electronic control unit endpoint solution that protects a car’s externally connected components, identifying attack attempts and blocking exploits from infiltrating the car’s network, officials said.

David Barzilai, one of the company’s founders, said cars often include more than 100 controllers that include a small computer for each. Karamba Security’s platform helps “secure the gates to cars” to prevent hacking.

The US Congress’ Security and Privacy in Your Car Act of 2015 (SPY Car Act of 2015) mandates the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue motor vehicle cybersecurity regulations that require motor vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States to protect against unauthorized electronic access to cars.

“All connected cars must be secure,” Barzilai said. “The overall mission for us is to secure the Internet of Things. … With connectivity comes risk.”

Karamba hardens ECUs that are open to external access (via the Internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.). Karamba received $2.5 million in seed funding from YL Ventures and from GlenRock, Leon Recantai's private investment company. 

karamba leadership team

“We were impressed with Karamba’s unique focus on developing an unobtrusive solution to the cybersecurity problems of the automotive industry,” Yoav Leitersdorf, managing partner of YL Ventures, said in a statement. “The experience of the team gave us confidence they could take a unique, shrink wrapped, approach and make it a reality.”

Karamba’s co-founders are Ami Dotan, Tal Ben-David, Barzilai and Assaf Harel. Ben-David and Harel managed the Check Point Software Technologies’ (CHKP) endpoint security research and development teams. Dotan and Barzilai have experience leading B2B companies, according to company officials.

Location, Location, Location

Mihir Nanavati

Redwood City, Calif.-based Kahuna, which specializes in mobile marketing automation, launched a platform update that enables marketers to tailor messages based on a customer’s preferred language or locale. The new capability is called Locales, which is included in all Kahuna platform licenses. 

“This release is targeting digital marketers who need to be able to quickly identify and act on patterns that emerge within each language or time zone-based segment,” Mihir Nanavati, SVP of product at Kahuna, told CMSWire. “Using customer’s contextual data, Locales enables marketers to communicate with users in their preferred language across push, in-app and email campaigns.” 

Kahuna officials said marketers can craft up to five different message variations for each language or locale selected.

“Locales is an out-of-the-box feature included in all Kahuna licenses,” Nanavati said. “Specifically, this means all existing and new customers of Kahuna can take advantage of Locales right away to set up more customized and localized campaigns using the same advanced segmentation and campaigning capabilities currently offered by the Kahuna product.”

Kahuna Locales technology

Locales is an included feature in all platform licenses. Pricing information will differ depending on specific needs. Locales is easy to use and doesn't require any coding, Nanavati said. 

“It's baked into the platform for every Kahuna customer and is extremely accurate,” he added, “as the data is being pulled directly from the user device and is constantly refreshed.” 

AI Company Nets $23M

Dennis R. Mortensen headshot

New York City-based x.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) company, closed a $23 million Series B financing round led by Two Sigma Ventures. Two new investors, DCM Ventures and Work­Bench Ventures, joined existing investors, IA Ventures, Firstmark Capital, Softbank Capital/SBNY, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Crunchfund, and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. 

The company provides AI-based meeting scheduling. “Amy” or “Andrew Ingram” help users schedule meetings. Company officials said users often mistake “Amy” for a human, something to which this reporter can attest.

“Amy relieves a huge amount of pain for our beta customers, saving them hours each week,” CEO/Founder Dennis R. Mortensen said in a statement. “This financing will allow us to extend our exceptional data science team and will support the rollout of our pro and business editions later this year.”

Digital Agencies Join Forces

Rightpoint, a technology and design services company headquartered in Chicago, has acquired Boston-based Agency Oasis

The acquisition expands Rightpoint’s existing presence from Chicago, Detroit and Denver to six new markets including Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and Dallas.

Ross Freedman, Co-CEO of Rightpoint, said the union "bolsters our ability to deliver compelling digital experiences for our clients at scale."

Agency Oasis focuses on customer experience. One of its strategists is Jake DiMare, a member of the CMSWire Reader Advisory Board. It helps expand Rightpoint's capabilities within the healthcare and financial services sectors.

Agency Oasis will rebrand and operate under the Rightpoint banner. The three founders of Agency Oasis, Jeff McMahon, Nick Laidlaw and Robert Naughton, join Rightpoint's leadership team. McMahon joins the Rightpoint Board of Directors. Rightpoint co-founders, Ross Freedman and Brad Schneider, will remain in their positions as co-CEOs. The merged companies will have about 300 employees.

Last May, Rightpoint secured a $55 million equity investment from New York-based Stella Point Capital.

Marketers Struggle with Content

We have more evidence that content personalization is hard.

Boulder, Colo.-based Rapt Media’s new report, “The Future of Content: Measuring Content Performance,” finds marketers have a tremendous content measurement problem and struggle to accomplish true personalization. 

Rapt Media surveyed about 500 marketers. According to the research, marketers say their biggest challenge is proving content ROI. Their insights into content rarely go beyond surface-level metrics like clicks and views. 

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 59 percent say gaining deeper insights is their biggest concern when investing in content
  • 98 percent say they’d be more willing to invest in content technology if it addressed their measurement concerns
  • 75 percent say content today can’t be personalized enough for different audiences
  • 47 percent say content isn’t versatile enough and can’t be leveraged across multiple mediums and devices
  • 60 percent are unable to measure ROI on the content they produce
  • 49 percent are unable to measure content performance across all channels in aggregate

“To prove that content is effective, it has to be measured in a way that shows how it truly engaged and resonated with audiences,” Erika Trautman, founder and CEO of Rapt Media, said in a statement. 

“Creating one-size-fits-all content and distributing it across different channels doesn’t accomplish personalization, and it is no longer a viable strategy for creating meaningful connections. Marketers need to prioritize a more personalized content experience, before distribution is even considered, to know how content metrics drive certain audience behaviors so they can optimize it for a more personalized customer-centric experience.”

Adobe, CloudCraze, Deloitte Partner Up

Deloitte Digital is leading development of an integration between CloudCraze, a Software-as-a-Service B2B commerce platform, and Adobe Experience Manager by Adobe.

The integration between a B2B commerce platform and a WCM platform will help marketing and line-of-business (LOB) staff of B2B companies to author website content related to, e.g. product information or elements of the buying process such as offers, Adobe’s Michael Postek, who manages the onboarding of strategic partners in the Adobe Commerce space, said in a blog.  

“This enables businesses to promote new content quickly or edit existing content that is shown by web analytics to be underperforming, in order to be more agile and achieve impact on business results more quickly,” he wrote.

Adobe, CloudCraze and Deloitte Digital will help answer the growing demand for better B2B customer experiences. 

“Through the latest technology and experience in practice,” Postek said, “our B2B customers can be better equipped to take on the task.”