Customer data platform mParticle has raised a $45 million Series D round to invest in data quality tools, data governance and partnerships.
Led by Arrowroot Capital, the haul, announced Monday, brings total funding to $121 million for a company founded well before the category became a mar tech investment darling.
“The space is hot,” said Michael Katz, mParticle’s CEO and co-founder. “There’s still some confusion in the market and many different types of companies that call themselves a CDP, but there’s also some genuine excitement around this category as people see what the vision can become.”
There’s no point in talking about the vision of connecting customer data across platforms, however, if the data isn’t clean and consistent. Data that isn’t formatted properly, for example, could screw up analytics or negatively affect the customer experience.
Most data quality issues can be traced back to human error or workarounds used to pull data from legacy systems. Failsafe mechanisms, more intuitive workflows, alerts, notifications and collaboration tools can all help, but there’s no one way to ensure data integrity, Katz said.
“It requires a multipronged approach, and you’ve got to constantly invest in that process,” he said. “Data quality is sort of like a moving target with no finish line.”
The same can be said for data governance, which is more important than ever considering the evolving privacy landscape.
Marketers need assurance that the data they’re sending to downstream systems is being shared according to set rules. In some cases, they might need to obfuscate certain attributes before sharing with another system, while in others they might want to set limits of how much data can be shared with another system for monetary reasons. Some platforms charge their clients by how much data volume flows through their system.
“Basically, data governance means being in total control over your data flows,” Katz said.
MParticle also plans to strike more partnerships, primarily with consultancies and agencies, and add more integration partners to its existing ecosystem of roughly 300.
The latest partnership, also announced Monday, is a deal with LiveRamp to enable audience extension for mParticle clients. Brands will be able to augment their first-party data stored within mParticle using the third-party identifiers in LiveRamp’s identity graph, which represents around 250 million US consumers.
CDPs usually only work with first-party PII data, but brands can still use third-party data to fill in the gaps in first-party data and achieve scale, Katz said.
Headcount at mParticle is roughly 140. The company plans to hire for roles across the board this year, including sales, marketing, product marketing, engineering, product and partnerships.
International expansion is in the cards, although Katz declined to share which new regions he’s most interested in.
“Data quality and the need to unify data across silos – these are things that literally every company faces, whether they’re big or small, domestic or international,” Katz said. “The challenge, and the opportunity, are universal.”