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Customer experience mergers acquisitions and investments

New M&A Involves Forsta, Rio SEO, CommerceIQ, e.fundamentals, Alvaria, and Cicero Inc.

New Funding for Cordial and Contentsquare

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Forsta and Rio SEO Combine to Provide Solutions Spanning the Customer Journey

Forsta, the New York City-based provider of insight analytics to enterprise customers and market research professionals, is combining capabilities with Rio SEO, the provider headquartered in San Diego, California, of a comprehensive suite of turnkey local marketing solutions to multi-location organizations. The integrated Local Experience (LX) solutionsresulting from the combination will bring together the best of Rio SEO’s Open Local Platform and Forsta’s Human Experience (HX) Platform, creating an end-to-end local marketing and CX solution for enterprise brands to engage consumers throughout the entire customer journey.

Rio SEO’s Open Local Platform is an award-winning local search marketing platform that extends the reach of global enterprise brands, enabling customer interactions across the local search ecosystem. With the combined capabilities of the two organizations, customers of the Forsta HX Platform will be able to extend their CX programs into the discovery and consideration phases earlier in the purchase funnel and through to the brand reputation and advocacy stage.

Three solutions are now available. With Rio SEO Local Reviews + Forsta HX Platform, companies can ingest Rio SEO review data from market-leading review sites into their existing voice of customer programs on the Forsta HX Platform. In the case of Rio SEO Local Pages + Forsta Digital Feedback + Forsta Software Development Kit (SDK), enterprise brands can embed Forsta’s Digital Feedback solution into their local landing pages and locators, and use Forsta’s SDK to build feedback natively into their branded mobile apps, allowing for behavioral data capture and digital intercept prompts and surveys. And with Rio SEO Local Listings + Rio SEOLocal Pages + Forsta Studio, thesolution adds robust data ingestion from Rio SEO’s Local Listings and Local Pages solutions, including local landing page performance, impressions, clicks, local search ranking data, and more, into the Forsta HX Platform. Forsta Studio’s online infographic dashboards help breathe color into visual storytelling, allowing companies to create a single and holistic view of a customer’s local marketing and CX programs.

Cordial Raises $50 Million

Cordial, the San Diego, California-based provider of a cross-channel marketing and data management platform, closed a $50 million Series C funding round led by private equity firm NewSpring Capital, with participation from new investor ABS Capital. The fresh capital will be used to expand the company’s global footprint, launch new platform features, and increase employee headcount by the end of the year.

Cordial offers tools for orchestrating marketing across channels, including email, SMS, and mobile apps. The platform brings together data from multiple sources, such as cloud storage and rest APIs, to create artificial intelligence (AI) models that automate campaigns, letting marketers connect customers to known profiles for improved CX.

Jeremy Swift, CEO and co-founder at Cordial, says the company has invested extensively in machine learning throughout the platform, using customizable models for each client. “We believe that clients should have full access and be able to easily understand how our models work to ensure a trusting relationship and to avoid the ‘black-box’ approach of most broad-based, generic AI,” Swift notes.

Cordial currently has 130 employees and plans to grow to approximately 200 by the end of the year. The startup has raised $85 million in venture capital to date.

Contentsquare Closes $600 Million Growth Investment Round

Contentsquare, the provider of digital experience analytics headquartered in Paris, has closed a growth investment round of $600 million, which includes $400 million in Series F equity and $200 million in debt financing, bringing total funding to date for the company to $1.4 billion. The Series F investment is led by Sixth Street Growth, the global investment firm based in San Francisco, which joins new and existing investors Bpifrance, Canaan, Eurazeo, Highland Europe, KKR, LionTree, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. The debt facility includes contributions from BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Société Générale. Since raising its Series E of $500 million in May 2021, the company’s valuation has doubled to $5.6 billion.

Contentsquare will use the new capital infusion to scale investments in innovation, support long-term growth in key markets, expand to new territories, and deliver greater impact in areas where the company deems it can make a real difference, which include the areas of digital accessibility, privacy, and sustainability.

A specialist in digital experience analytics, Contentsquare is moving beyond traditional analytics to provide brands with a fuller understanding of CX on their websites and apps. Its AI-powered engine analyzes trillions of digital customer interactions aimed at offering contextual and critical insights into customer behaviors, feelings, and intent at every touchpoint in their journey, enabling businesses to build empathy, create more human digital experiences, and drive greater business growth. 

CommerceIQ Acquires e.fundamentals

Silicon Valley-based e-commerce platform provider CommerceIQ has acquired e.fundamentals, the digital shelf analytics (DSA) provider headquartered in London. The transaction joins CommerceIQ sales, supply chain, and retail media automation, with e.fundamentals digital shelf activity and store-level availability insights. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Guru Hariharan, CEO and founder of CommerceIQ, says the acquisition makes the new combined entity the first platform to connect and intelligently automate across shelf, sales, supply chain, and advertising to give their customers a bigger win.

For his part, e.fundamentals CEO John Maltman says that becoming an integral part of the CommerceIQ platform allows his company to provide a complete solution for brands to understand shopper behavior for their categories, manage sales operations, plan inventory to meet demand, and optimize media and promotional spend.

The first combined offering from this acquisition, e.fundamentals by CommerceIQ, unites modern workflows, deeper analytics to uncover assortment gaps, and retail media targeting opportunities, and new recommendations aimed at helping customers zero in on top prioritized actions to manage their digital shelf presence across retailers.

Alvaria Completes Acquisition of Cicero Inc. Platform

Alvaria, a major provider of enterprise-scale CX and workforce engagement management headquartered in Westford, Massachusetts, has completed the acquisition of the Intelligent Analytics Platform from Cicero Inc., the Cary, North Carolina-based provider of business integration software that enables organizations to integrate new and existing information and processes at the desktop.

The acquisition will accelerate customer understanding of consumer and employee behavior to build better workflows using a simpler approach to complex problems with attended robotic process automation (RPA) and desktop analytics. Jeff Cotton, CEO of Alvaria, says the Cicero platform will allow some of their largest customers to shave seconds off agent interactions, resulting in millions of dollars of savings every year.

Alvaria will incorporate the Cicero platform to further enable organizations to reshape CX and EX. Users will have the ability to analyze agent productivity, tools and application usage, and performance and rankings. The resulting information will allow for the automated delivery of relevant, just-in-time information and action requests, all while maintaining compliance and updating customer records.

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