6 Marketing and Sales Companies with More Than $500 Million in Funding Top “Most Promising” AI List
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By: Mike Kaput

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March 29th, 2017

6 Marketing and Sales Companies with More Than $500 Million in Funding Top “Most Promising” AI List

The artificial intelligence revolution is in full swing, according to a report from CB Insights. The report, dubbed the AI 100, identifies the 100 most promising privately held AI companies around the world based on momentum, market, funding and investor quality. CB Insights, appropriately, crunched the data using machine learning algorithms to determine the list’s membership.

Analysis of the AI 100 report from KDnuggets lists the top 50 of these firms by funding. Of them, six AI companies have direct applications to marketers across three categories: “Ad, Sales, CRM,” “Commerce” and “Text Analysis / Generation.”

Marketers, it’s time to start paying attention. Marketing and marketing-related functions are some of the most-funded companies in the AI 100, indicating that our industry is a high priority for the makers of machine learning algorithms.

The report details a diverse set of companies that use AI to help marketers better personalize, customize and analyze their campaigns. We took a deep dive into the report to learn more about the six top-funded marketing and sales companies.


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Artificial Intelligence in Ad, Sales and CRM

artificial Four companies identified on the KDnuggets list are in the “Ad, Sales, CRM” category.

InsideSales.com is the best funded company within the category, with $251.2 million in funding as of writing. The company offers a sales acceleration platform that uses big data, predictive analytics and machine learning to improve sales performance and productivity. The company claims to have the world’s largest sales database (90 billion interactions) that it parses with machine learning to deliver accurate predictions of how sales leads will act and close.

Persado, with $66 million in funding, sells a cognitive content platform, which uses AI to increase audience engagement by predicting which copy and images will resonate most with prospects. The company has learned what types of content work best thanks to a database of more than one million words, phrases and images. It uses that insight to suggest which engagements stand the best chance of success.

Appier sells an AI platform that analyzes your data to predict which actions will best grow your target audience. With $49 million in funding, the company’s solutions can be used to do anything from grow subscribers to re-engage users to identify ad campaign audiences. The firm uses proprietary machine learning and deep learning technologies to extract these insights from your company’s datasets.

Drawbridge employs artificial intelligence to build comprehensive anonymous profiles of consumers that detail behaviors, demographics and interests. This information is used to predict how consumers will act and what devices they’re using. The company has $46 million in funding.

Artificial Intelligence in Commerce and Text Analysis / Generation

In the KDnuggets analysis, one company each came from the “Commerce” and “Text Analysis / Generation” categories.

In the “Commerce” category, BloomReach, a firm with $97 million in funding, uses natural language processing and machine learning to match consumers on your site with the perfect product. By analyzing user behavior and intent data, the company’s platform aims to improve site SEO, personalization and how products are displayed on-site to boost sales and engagement.

Narrative Science uses natural language generation to automatically produce data-driven narratives. Thanks to the power of AI, Narrative Science can produce thousands of stories in a fraction of the time. The company has more than $29 million in funding.


Related Read: Transform Business and Marketing Data into Machine-Written Narratives with Advanced Natural Language Generation


What Does This Mean for Marketers?

Marketers would do well to note the diversity of companies profiled in the report.

AI solutions are increasingly able to automate or augment marketing activities across organic search, paid channels and content creation. The companies in the CB Insights report may share common categories, but span activities as different as sales intelligence, cognitive content and audience building / prediction.

Notably, no marketing automation companies are profiled, though this may be due to the categorization or ranking criteria preferred by KDnuggets and CB Insights. However, we expect marketing automation to rapidly develop and integrate AI capabilities in the months and years ahead, though it is still, ironically, a largely manual process today.

The AI 100 report makes clear that marketers should begin to understand how deeply their disciplines are being saturated with AI, and how to leverage new tools in their space. Doing so could give their businesses a serious leg up creating more personalized, productive and performance-driven campaigns.

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Image Credit: CB Insights Screenshot

About Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is a senior consultant at PR 20/20 who is passionate about AI's potential to transform marketing. At PR 20/20, he creates measurable marketing results for companies using data-driven strategies, market-leading content, and scalable marketing technologies. Full bio.

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