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PHOTO: John Ragai

Salesforce shook up the web content management (WCM) world this week with a $300 million investment into Automattic, the company behind WordPress, the world's most popular WCM with more than 27 million live websites. This was a Series D round, and Salesforce Ventures — the CRM giant's corporate investment arm — owned the entire round. It puts Automattic at a valuation of $3 billion.

Salesforce has long had a WCM gap in its digital experience software offerings. Though the move does not indicate a technology partnership with WordPress WCM, Salesforce is known to invest in technology providers poised for growth. According to Mark Demeny, an industry observer, this isn't a WCM play either. However, he said it is noteworthy given it's the largest single investment in a company by Salesforce Ventures.

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg blogged that he and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff agree that "Salesforce and Automattic shared a lot of principles and philosophies." 

The Salesforce Ventures funding will allow the 950-employee, 14-year-old company to scale up its existing products. This includes WordPress.com, WordPress VIP, WooCommerce, Jetpack and Tumblr, wrote Mullenweg. It will also allow Automattic to increase investments in open-source WordPress and Gutenberg.

In other customer experience software news ...

Tealium Launches Tealium Predict

Tealium, a customer data orchestration provider, launched Tealium Predict, a built-in machine learning technology for Tealium AudienceStream, its customer data platform (CDP). Coupled with Tealium AudienceStream, Tealium Predict activates machine learning insights. With Tealium Predict, organizations can draw conclusions about customers' future actions and generate tailored programs to directly address their needs.

Deloitte Launches Open Source Compass 

Deloitte released a public data visualization tool, Open Source Compass (OSC). The tool is designed to help tech users understand the trajectory of open-source development and emerging technologies. The tool evaluates code commits and developer mindshare. It is designed and developed by Deloitte, Datawheel and Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute (ANITI) Chair Cesar Hidalgo. The tool will explore which specific open-source projects are "growing or stagnating in domains like machine learning," identify potential platforms for prototyping, experimentation and scaled innovation and help tech users understand what programming languages are gaining or losing ground.

Adobe Extends Vidyard Partnership With Marketo Engage

Adobe extended the partnership between Marketo Engage and video platform provider Vidyard. Marketo Engage became part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud following Adobe's $4.75 billion acquisition one year ago. 

Vidyard’s video marketing capabilities are integrated directly within the Marketo Engage application, which allows Engage customers to access video insights and behaviors. Some new features include the ability to customize responsive playback experience and views into video analytics.

Evergage Unveils Gears Marketplace

Evergage, a personalization technology provider, unveiled the Evergage Gears Marketplace, a library of installable components (or "gears"), including connectors, extensions, templates and more. The goal is to enhance the functionality and value of Evergage's personalization and CDP offerings by opening up Evergage's platform to business and technical resources for clients.

Oracle Launches CX Unity

Oracle announced updates to its CDP platform. Oracle CX Unity brings together data from marketing and advertising systems to help organizations deliver relevant and personalized experiences, across the customer journey. The customer intelligence platform gathers online, offline and third-party customer data sources and applies machine learning to identify the next best action within the business process. Oracle CX Unity connects with Oracle’s Data Management Platform (DMP) and ID Graph solutions. 

AdRoll Launches Brand Awareness Solution

AdRoll, a growth marketing platform, has announced its Brand Awareness solution. AdRoll’s Brand Awareness solution is designed to give marketers a single place to create messaging, deliver experiences and measure the impact of campaigns throughout the customer journey. It leverages machine learning and combines first-party data with AdRoll’s second- and third-party data. 

Hootsuite Expands LinkedIn Integration

Hootsuite, a social media management company, announced a deeper collaboration with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Customers can now promote LinkedIn Pages content from the Hootsuite dashboard.

Clearbit Releases Clearbit X

Clearbit announced Clearbit X, aimed at helping companies bring together first-party data with Clearbit's third-party data to improve customer communications. The release is aimed at marketing and sales teams in B2B companies and promises tools to support: demand generation, sales operations alerts and website conversion.

Rokt Acquires OfferLogic 

Rokt, provider of ecommerce marketing technology, acquired OfferLogic, a B2B marketplace. The companies have merged under the Rokt brand. Rokt works with customers in industries including travel, ticketing, retail, finance, direct-to-consumer and now B2B. It will combine machine learning, AI and a marketplace of businesses that sell products and acquire new customers. 

Guadagno Named Acoustic’s First CMO 

Acoustic, a marketing cloud spun off the Centerbridge acquisition of IBM's marketing software, named Norman Guadagno as CMO. While based in Boston, he will lead a core marketing team in New York City and regional teams across Europe and Asia Pacific. Most recently, Guadagno was SVP of marketing at Carbonite. Prior to Carbonite, Guadagno served as SVP of marketing at Wire Stone (now part of Accenture Interactive).