Communication software platform maker Arena – a provider of a Slack-like chat or bot conversation column to the right side of your screen when you're on an ecommerce site – is endeavoring to bring more human understanding to online marketing and sales. That, in turn, works to establish better rapport with potential customers for ecommerce businesses. The San Francisco-based startup's group chat and messaging application framework for B2C enterprises, having earned the attention of investors, yesterday announced a $13.6 million Series A round led by CRV with Craft Ventures, Artisanal Ventures and Vela Partners also participating. A key marketing trend in 2022 is for consumer companies to find ways to move beyond social media and third-party cookies as a way of gaining better direct insights into their users and customers. Five-year-old Arena recognized this early and built a SaaS platform to replace the need for third-party referrals and social networks, CEO and founder Paolo Martins told VentureBeat.
Silicon Valley headlines often report on the size of venture capital raised by a startup -- the bigger the funding, the bigger the story. But this is a poor way to understand the startup community. Startup success isn't determined by how much you raise; it's about how much you keep. Arena.im is a great example. It recently raised a seed round of $2.3 million -- a tiny amount by local standards.
As more online brands look for ways to move beyond third-party cookies as a way of gaining more direct insights about their users and customers, a startup that has developed a platform to help them has raised a big round of funding. Bluecore, a marketing technology firm that uses data gained from direct marketing like email, social media, site activity and combines that with machine learning to make better predictions about who might want to buy what among its customers, is today announcing that it has raised $50 million. The funding will be used to build the next generation of the Bluecore platform, expected later this year, which will tap into aggregated engagement data (but not actual browsing individuals) from "hundreds" of brands, which customers can combine with their own first-party data -- based on consent-based, first-party customer IDs -- to develop better targeting insights. "There are a lot of systems that focus on customer data and transactional data but no system that focuses on the product and product catalogue, which we think is the key asset," said Fayez Mohamood, the co-founder and CEO, in an interview. He says that the company manages over 200 million products and SKUs, second only to Amazon's and bigger than Walmart's, that companies can matches with consumer identities (from email and other direct channels).
Someone has pulled off one of the most spectacular cons in the history of photojournalism by tricking established media outlets and his 120,000 Twitter followers into thinking that he was a conflict photographer. SEE ALSO: That viral'Game of Thrones' photo is totally fake news "Eduardo Martins," a blond and handsome 32-year-old from Sao Paulo, Brazil, supposedly survived childhood leukemia to become a sought-after, accomplished war photojournalist for the UN with a passion for surfing. His fake images of conflict in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq were delivered to agencies such as Getty Images, Zuma, and NurPhoto and published in The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, The Telegraph, and BBC Brazil. His now-deleted Instagram profile had over 120,000 followers. Except all of this was exposed as a lie, thanks to the attentive eye of some fellow photographers and a BBC Brazil journalist named Natasha Ribeiro.