Amperity Raises $50 Million As Mar Tech Heavyweights Turn To CDPs

Customer data platform (CDP) Amperity announced a $50 million investment round on Monday, bringing its total funding to almost $90 million.

A cohort of large venture capital investors, including Tiger Global Management and Goldman Sachs, backed the new Amperity round.

“What I think many industry observers see is the opportunity for a multi-billion dollar, blue chip technology company to emerge in this category,” said Amperity co-founder and CEO Kabir Shahani.

Major industry players and investors have lately converged on the CDP category. Some CDP startups, like mParticle, Segment and ActionIQ, have raised tens of millions and even hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years. And the major marketing clouds like Salesforce and Adobe have spent hundreds of millions as they get into the CDP game.

But unlike web analytics or DSP startups that raised similarly huge VC rounds ten or so years ago, Shahani said CDPs exist in a world without coherent RFPs and definitions that delineate vendor roles, or partners from competitors.

“There’s an incredibly wide spectrum of companies and capabilities all using the moniker ‘CDP,’” he said. For instance, he said that if two deep-pocketed players like Salesforce or a private equity company tried to consolidate the market, they could each snap up multiple startups billed as CDPs and still end up with completely different solutions.

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.”

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