Some CDPs are more focused on audience orchestration and activation, like DMPs or ad tech and tag management solutions pivoting their solutions, Shahani said. Others, mostly earlier players in the space like mParticle and Segment, specialize in “extract, transform, load” technology that moves and rationalizes data between many sources. And some CDPs, including Amperity, center their pitch on identity resolution.
The prospect of consolidation by incumbents is not such a distant hypothetical. Salesforce bought Datorama for $800 million last year, and last month the B2B data company Dun & Bradstreet’s snapped up the CDP Lattice Engines, which had raised $65 million, though terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Competition is heating up for CDPs, Shahani said, particularly as the leading marketing clouds all declare their entrance in the market. But there’s “not a lot of meat” on the bones of those CDP products right now, he said, giving startups a chance to solidify their head starts with customers, most of whom use at least one CDP and at least one mar tech cloud provider.
But even if there is stiffer competition, major lines of business are also opening up for CDP startups, Shahani said.
Amperity’s first couple years of business development centered in endemic categories for CDP startups: retail, CPG and travel and hospitality (i.e. businesses with loyalty programs and many customer touch points). But in just the past two months, Shahani said the startup has signed its first customers in the automotive, financial services and healthcare verticals.
“There should be and needs to be an independent, long-term software company tackling this customer data management challenge,” he said. “The problem being solved and the CDP category is deserving of that.”