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Big Data Journal Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff

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BlueConic Closes $3 Million in Series A Funding to Fuel Aggressive Expansion into the U.S. Market

BlueConic, a company that helps brands optimize cross-channel marketing opportunities through improved customer engagement, today announced a Series A round of $3 million led by Sigma Prime Ventures. The Series A round brings the company’s total funding to $7 million. BlueConic will use the funds to fuel aggressive expansion into the U.S. market, including moving its corporate headquarters and executive team to Boston and rapidly growing its sales and marketing presence. The move comes on the heels of the company closing out 2013 with 300% year-over-year annual revenue growth.

As consumers increasingly come to expect a customized experience during each interaction with a brand, marketers struggle to deliver personalized and highly-relevant synchronized communications. According to Forrester Research’s August 2013 report, “Customer Recognition: The CI Keystone,” by James McCormick, “At scale, and across a greater slew of channels, this is much easier said than done.” BlueConic, the report reads, among other vendors helps "organizations track customers across channels by applying technology and techniques to associate multiple interactions - collected at multiple touch points - with each other; and with profiles and/or customers.”

BlueConic offers a SaaS-based online customer engagement platform that leverages a Big Data profile interaction store and machine learning to help marketers synchronize relevant communications across web, mobile and social channels in real time. Working in concert with existing marketing and web technology, the platform facilitates relevant dialogues and experiences on an individual level across all phases of the life cycle —anonymous visitors, leads and identified customers—enabling improved customer journeys and empowering brands with increased customer lifetime values and greater lift.

"BlueConic delivers a great ROI,” said Mark van Leest, media manager at Ajax, one of the largest European sports brands and a BlueConic customer. “Its unsurpassed profile-based approach delivered extremely high ticket shop click through ratios’ up to 27.5 percent and raised pre-seasonal ticket sales a whopping 36.4 percent.”

Founded in 2010 in the Netherlands by CEO Bart Heilbron and CTO Martijn van Berkum, the company already has more than 70 customers and counts leading worldwide brands such as Volvo, ING and Pitney Bowes among its customer base. To date, the BlueConic platform has served more than 10 billion interactions and manages more than 200 million user profiles on behalf of customers.

“Given all our discussions at Sigma Prime Ventures with customers in numerous mid-large U.S. enterprises, it is clear there is a huge hole in the market and a huge demand for this kind of a SaaS solution. BlueConic is answering the question currently keeping CMOs and online marketers at brands of all sizes up at night: How can I better engage anonymous prospects and known customers across an ever-growing number of online channels?” said John Simon, managing director, Sigma Prime Ventures. “The platform has proven to be extremely scalable and the company has already seen tremendous success, making them a great addition to the Sigma portfolio. We are excited to back them as they move to Boston and take the U.S. market by storm.”

BlueConic’s U.S. headquarters is located in Boston’s financial district and staffs four executives. Currently the company has a total headcount of 20 employees. The company is aggressively hiring in both sales and marketing, with projections to have 15 U.S.-based and 35 total employees by the end of 2014.

“Moving our headquarters to the U.S. marks a major milestone in BlueConic’s evolution,” said Heilbron. “Sigma is the ideal partner to help us take on this new market and next phase of growth. U.S.-based enterprise marketers are extremely sophisticated and we’re very confident they’ll see immediate and sizable value in the BlueConic platform to help them improve online customer engagement and ultimately, their contributions to sales and revenue.”

About BlueConic

BlueConic helps brands optimize cross-channel marketing opportunities through improved customer engagement. It offers a SaaS-based online customer engagement platform that leverages a Big Data profile interaction store and machine learning to help marketers synchronize relevant communications across web, mobile and social channels in real time. More than 70 brands currently trust the platform to solve their customer engagement, channel optimization and permission marketing challenges, including Volvo, ING and Pitney Bowes and others. Founded in 2010, the company is headquartered in Boston, with offices in Europe. Learn more at www.blueconic.com.

About Sigma Prime Ventures

Sigma Prime Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in early stage companies in the areas of SaaS, Cloud, Mobile, Disruptive Technologies and Technology-Enabled Services. The Partnership focuses on great entrepreneurs and works in conjunction with them to build great companies. The firm’s partners have deep operating and startup experience, collectively having founded 11 companies, provided executive leadership to 17 companies, and had exits worth over $4.2B. Since 1984, the firm’s partners have fostered the growth & exit of numerous technology companies, including Internet Security Systems (IPO), m-Qube (acquired by VeriSign), Storage Networks (IPO), Vignette (IPO), Vlingo (acquired by Nuance), Aprimo (acquired by Teradata), Initiate (acquired by IBM), Octane (acquired by e.Piphany), OpenPages (acquired by IBM), Tradex (acquired by Ariba) and others. Sigma Prime Ventures has offices in Boston and New York City, and invests across the U.S. with a focus on the East Coast. For more information, please visit http://www.sigmaprime.com.

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