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PHOTO: Garry Knight

CRM giant Salesforce this month signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rebel. According to Rebel officials, Rebel's email marketing software allows users to "reimagine" the inbox. Rebel’s mail and API solutions help brands, including Dollar Shave Club, L'Oreal and HelloFresh, turn emails into an extension of their website or app by collecting data and helping the conversion process. Rebel officials said their platform will integrate with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

The acquisition may be an answer — albeit a small one — to Salesforce marketing software competitor Adobe's $4.75 billion acquisition of Marketo last month. Salesforce, much like Adobe, has assembled its marketing cloud via acquisitions such as Demandware and ExactTarget.

In other customer experience software news ....

Facebook Hires Former UK Deputy Prime Minister

Facebook apparently wants some European pull in its executive suite as it faces constant regulator and consumer pressure for its data-collection practices in the US and beyond. The social media giant has hired Nick Clegg as its head of global affairs and communications team, according to a report from the Financial Times. Clegg is the former UK deputy prime minister, a former European Commission trade negotiator and member of the European Parliament.

No doubt, Facebook has faced its share of fire and has been under intense scrutiny in the last year. According to the Financial Times report, Clegg, 51, takes over for Elliot Schrage, who after 10 years announced he would be leaving Facebook in June. Having a former British top legislative official in the era of GDPR pressure for data-collecting organizations who don't always secure private data seems like a calculated move on Zuckerberg's part.

Concentric Creates Analytics Solution

Concentric, a predictive analytics company, this week announced the creation of an end-to-end analytics solution in a move designed to speed up the analytics process for forecasting and decision-making. The Concentric Market platform is powered by data warehouse connectivity and cloud computing. 

Officials said the platform will help users connect to a company’s data warehouse and update the model’s data inputs using the most recent data points. They can also connect to their cloud computing servers. The platform offers integrations with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure as well as with data visualization tools, such as Tableau or Microsoft Power BI.

Infusionsoft Nets $20 Million Investment

ORIX Growth Capital has invested $20 million in Infusionsoft, a CRM provider for small businesses. The investment from ORIX Growth Capital will help Infusionsoft accelerate product development, branding and marketing of its new CRM for small businesses, company officials said in a press release. Jon Weitzel, director at ORIX Growth Capital, said in a statement, “Implementing and managing separate, standalone CRMs, email marketing, sales automation and ecommerce software is complex and creates manual work for small businesses using multiple systems." In addition, he said Infusionsoft’s new CRM is designed to eliminate repetitive tasks.

Mintent Acquires gShift

Mintent Software, which provides content marketing software, has acquired gShift, which offers SEO, content performance and web presence analytics software. The acquisition will help boost marketers' abilities to create content and measure the impact of content investments, according to Mintent officials. “We work with marketers who create content every day and the same two questions come up over and over again: What content should I create to engage with my audience, and how do I know if it is working?” Mintent CEO Matt Dion said in a statement. “Being able to answer these two questions for our customers is the main reason we decided to merge with gShift.”

The SEO platform of gShift provides organic search discoverability insights and includes features such as competitive intelligence, keyword research, dashboarding and reporting. It also offers kurls analytics technology, which is a trackable link that users can create for each piece of content and channel where the content is to be distributed. 

InMobi Acquires Pinsight Media

InMobi, which provides enterprise platforms for marketers, announced the acquisition of Pinsight Media, a mobile data and advertising company formerly wholly owned by Sprint. This all-stock deal is part of a broader strategic partnership between InMobi and Sprint across devices, data, media and marketing, according to InMobi officials.

Pinsight Media is a mobile data and brand intelligence company. Officials said its suite of advertising products and services are designed to help businesses uncover new audiences, discover new market opportunities and define more effective customer engagement strategies.

Twilio Acquires SendGrid

Twilio has added email to its customer communications repertoire with the acquisition of SendGrid. Twilio officials said they've addressed every customer communication channel in their software offerings including voice, video, SMS, chat, smart speakers like Alexa, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp. 

Customers, however, have requested email, and SendGrid is the best cloud-based email delivery platform, according to Twilio officials. SendGrid is a cloud communications email API platform. Officials expect the acquisition, which is reportedly valued at $2 billion, to complete some time in the first half of 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Emma Launches Emma HQ

Emma, a marketing software provider operating under Campaign Monitor, has debuted an email marketing platform called Emma HQ. Emma HQ is an email campaign and asset manager for distributed businesses. Emma is also announcing a rebranding effort.

“Emma HQ has been developed by listening to our customers,” Cody Bender, chief product officer at Campaign Monitor, said in a press release. “Our customers — especially those in restaurant, higher education and franchise industries — have worked with us directly during the creation of Emma HQ and have helped our product development team build a platform with the features to best address their unique needs."

The email campaign platform offers brand controls, which allows marketers to share approved templates down to their sub-accounts, as well as lock creative elements within the templates. It also includes an approvals dashboard and activity dashboard.