Hootsuite, a social media management provider, has announced a $48 million acquisition of Heyday, a Montreal-based conversational AI platform. Heyday is designed to enable brands to deliver personalized customer experiences through messaging conversations. Heyday’s enterprise-grade customer messaging platform integrates with ecommerce platforms and aims to deliver personalized customer experiences via chat and video.
Steve Desjarlais, co-founder of Heyday, said Heyday’s conversational platform will complement Hootsuite’s offering by bridging the gap between physical and digital brand experiences leveraging social and messaging channels as the anchor of the customer journey.
Hootsuite has made 14 acquisitions, according to Crunchbase, and has reached nearly $300 million in funding. Its last acquisition came in January: Sparkcentral, a digital customer engagement provider.
In other customer experience and digital marketing software news…
FullStory Raises $100M Series D
FullStory, which provides digital experience intelligence software (DXI), has announced that it has secured $103 million in growth capital financing. The oversubscribed Series D round was led by Permira’s growth fund and includes participation from all existing institutional investors, including Kleiner Perkins, GV, Stripes, Dell Technologies Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Glynn Capital.
The funding will be used to expand FullStory’s business internationally and to further enhance its DXI platform, which is designed to help companies build better digital products and experiences across web and mobile channels by providing real-time analytics and insights to product, customer success, engineering and marketing teams.
Wildfire Systems Raises $15 Million Series A Round
Wildfire Systems, a financial technology platform that powers reward and loyalty programs, has announced it has secured $15 million in Series A venture capital investment co-led by TTV Capital and QED Investors. New investors include B Capital, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and Daher Capital, which are joined by existing investors including Mucker Capital, Bonfire Ventures, Moonshots Capital and BAM Ventures.
Wildfire will leverage the funding to expand the launch of its new white-label monetization platform that is designed to allow enterprise partners to embed social commerce, rewards and cashback offers into existing customer journeys.
Wildfire helps partners across verticals such as financial institutions, search engines, browsers, rewards services, telecom providers and device OEMs. Wildfire founder and CEO Jordan Glazier is a former eBay executive who also served as the CEO of Eventful, a digital service connecting consumers with entertainment and local events acquired by CBS in 2014.
HubSpot Names New CEO
HubSpot, a digital customer experience software provider, has named Yamini Rangan its new CEO. Co-founder and current CEO Brian Halligan will step into the role of executive chairman. Rangan previously served as HubSpot’s chief customer officer. She will become HubSpot’s CEO, effective Sept. 7.
“When we hired Yamini, we knew we were hiring an incredibly effective executive with a track record of high impact roles at enterprise companies to oversee our go-to-market motion,” Halligan said. “Since day one of her arrival, she’s made our organization better, and while I was out, she led the company with clarity, empathy and exceptional results. She’s proven she can lead HubSpot, and I’m excited to partner with her for many years to come in my new role as executive chairman.”
Halligan spent 15 years as CEO of HubSpot. He co-founded the Cambridge, Mass.-based company with Dharmesh Shah, current chief technology officer.
Yamini joined HubSpot in 2020 as chief customer officer. She had previous roles at Dropbox, Workday and SAP. She has been overseeing day-to-day operations at HubSpot since March of this year, managing Board meetings, the HubSpot earnings call and key hiring and growth initiatives, working closely with Shah.
In his role as executive chairman, Halligan will be closely involved in product, partner and long-term strategy.
Aptos Hires Thilo Freund as General Manager EMEA
Aptos, which provides retail technology solutions, has announced that Thilo Freund has been appointed General Manager EMEA. In this role, Freund will oversee Aptos’ sales, solution consulting, professional services and software delivery teams in the region.
He will report to Aptos President and COO Steve Towe. He follows previous appointments of new chiefs across finance (David Bertolino), human resources (Terry Geraghty) and product (Karthik Mani) as well as General Manager Americas Jeremy Grunzweig, earlier in 2021.
Prior to Aptos, Freund served as senior vice president of sales at GK Software SE, a provider of software for the retail sector. He also held multiple leadership roles at MICROS Systems (now Oracle), including serving as managing director for its retail business in Central Europe.
ConsenSys Partners With LivePerson
ConsenSys, a blockchain technology company, is partnering with conversational AI provider LivePerson to provide conversational AI support for its blockchain and crypto communities, starting with users of crypto wallet MetaMask. Users can expect to access the new customer experience in November.
ConsenSys currently offers support for MetaMask through several channels like ticketing, community, Twitter and Discord. This collaboration with LivePerson will provide users with the option to start a conversation with AI-powered support and access educational information on-demand. All of the current Support options available today will remain available.
Amazon Releases Transcribe Call Analytics
Amazon Transcribe Call Analytics is a new addition to Transcribe and an enhancement to AWS Contact Center Intelligence. Based on auto speech recognition implemented in Transcribe, Transcribe Call Analytics adds natural language processing (NLP) capabilities specifically trained on customer calls and is optimized to provide call transcripts and actionable insights.
With an API call, developers can now add call analytics to any application, and extract customer insights from conversations without having to build AI pipelines and train custom ML models.
NICE Launches CXone SmartAssist
NICE has announced the launch of CXone SmartAssist powered by Amelia, a Conversational AI solution for customer service. This pairing combines NICE CXone’s analytical capabilities, data and knowledge with Amelia’s Conversational AI technology.
Fueled by NICE Enlighten AI and the advanced digital capabilities of CXone, with built-in advanced Conversational AI, CXone SmartAssist facilitates resolutions and learning on customer interactions. The solution assists users in designing their own custom-made intelligent virtual assistants for use cases that can offer suggestions and guidance.
Terminus Launches the Next-Generation of its Native ABM Chat Solution
It enables users to deploy real-time, account-based conversations at a buyer’s moment of interest, within the platform. Users can connect target audiences with levels of intent directly to the most appropriate rep. It also collects visitor data, trigger sales automation for prospects and customers and qualifies inbound traffic.
ActiveCampaign Unveils Growth Accelerator Program
ActiveCampaign, which provides customer experience automation solutions, has introduced a new partner program. The inaugural Growth Accelerator Program includes an additional investment in promotional benefits to app partners. This follows a recent announcement that incentivizes app developers to create new integrations with the ActiveCampaign CXA platform.
Some of the partners in the inaugural group include:
- Asana, project management
- Attentive, SMS
- Eventbrite, event management
- Prestashop, ecommerce
- Sendoso, direct mail
- Squarespace, website building
- Zoom, virtual meetings