Dynamic Yield’s latest financing round is about one thing: growth.
The company, which provides personalization software for ecommerce brands and publishers, raised $32 million in Series D cash on Wednesday, led by Viola Growth with participation from Union Tech Ventures. The round brings its total funding to $77 million since 2013.
Dynamic Yield, whose clients include Stitch Fix, HelloFresh and IKEA, most recently filled its coffers with $9 million from Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners in July 2017 and a $22 million Series C round the previous year.
It’s a lot of dough in quick succession, but the company isn’t trying to be profitable, said CEO and founder Liad Agmon. The capital markets are friendly right now, and Dynamic Yield has its eye on grabbing market share from Adobe, its main competitor for enterprise business.
“If we’re going to win deals, we need the firepower,” Agmon said.
Dynamic Yield has spent a good amount of its cash on machine learning and engineering to help clients combine data sets and create customer segments that can be used in real time and to customize content, on as individual a level as possible.
The next step, and an area where Dynamic Yield wants to compete, is what Agmon calls “personalization everywhere.” He plans to expand the company’s personalization APIs beyond web-based environments to kiosks, point-of-sale systems, call centers, IoT devices – basically anywhere in the physical world where consumers can interact with a brand.
“Historically on the web, personalization was mostly used by the marketing team,” Agmon said. “But we’re seeing companies start to recognize that personalization can be strategic. We’re seeing product and engineering teams that want to bake personalization into the core experience.”
The personalization opportunity may be ripe, but Agmon acknowledges that it will be at least 10 years before the industry fully embraces it.
“We’ll see some companies, the early adopters, doing new things every year, but large enterprise companies are very slow to change,” Agmon said. “The fact is, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet on what can be done with personalization.”
It must also contend with big platforms that still dominate the data front. Google, Facebook and Amazon are busily sucking up engineering talent and flexing their algorithmic muscles and scale while retailers, publishers and brands scramble to differentiate.
But just because the competition is fierce – and big – doesn’t mean that retailers shouldn’t do whatever they can to provide a more compelling experience for their customers.
“Take Amazon. They’ve set the bar for what an efficient user experience and transaction looks like – but it’s transactional. People only go there when they need something,” Agmon said. “Retailers obviously need to be efficient, but they should also focus on delighting the user – on doing what they can to keep people coming back to discover and ultimately buy products.”
Beyond investing in its software offerings, Dynamic Yield plans to increase its headcount from around 185 today up to 230 with the next 12 months. There are around 40 open positions across departments, including engineering, customer success, sales and product management.
Gartner’s first Magic Quadrant named Dynamic Yield a leader for personalization engines in late July.