Weekly martech review: Braze $80m Series E, Torchlite freelance marketplace, Facebook first-party cookies

In our review of last week’s martech news, we highlight Braze latest $80m Series E funding, Torchlite funding for marketplace of digital marketing freelancers, and Facebook’s new first-party cookie option to collect ads from Safari.

Braze raises another $80m in Series E funding, doubles valuation to $850m from last year

What it is

Braze is a mobile marketing CRM company previously known as Appboy. They send mobile app messages personalized and optimized across channels, and have been around for about six years. This latest funding round brings them to a total of $130m raised this year, and a total valuation doubled to $850 million since their Series D funding in 2017.

Why it matters

The leading investor in this round, Meritech, also has investments in top-dog companies including Facebook and Salesforce. They’ve been recognized as part of Inc.’s 500 fastest growing private companies, and their CTO is a Harvard alum “who, in a past life, played guitar in a heavy metal band.”

Torchlite raises $3m to grow marketplace of digital marketing freelancers

What it is

Indianapolis-based Torchlite launched in late 2015 to meet the growing market need for freelance, on-demand digital marketing specialists. Torchlite has raised a total of $5.5 million and doubled revenue from 2016 to 2017. demonstrating a massive need in the market for certified experts and a more effective way to manage those resources to build complex digital marketing campaigns.

Why it matters

As many in the industry are fully aware, there’s always all the things to be done, and teams are increasingly relying on freelance talent to fill those gaps. Many leaders say that their primary barrier to long-term success is talent — and many workers are already going freelance to meet that.

It will be interesting to see the continued rise of freelancers and new ways companies innovate to manage that talent.

Facebook to release first-party cookie option for ads in Safari, following similar solutions from Google and Microsoft

What it is

Last year, Apple introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in Safari to block third-party trackers from collecting browsing data for ad targeting purposes. Not surprisingly, Google and Microsoft each released first-party cookie solutions, in September of last year and January, respectively. Now, Facebook too is getting up to speed. As of October 24th, their first-party solution will become the default setting for Facebook ads (though users can change their settings at any time).

Why it matters

You don’t need us to tell you consumer data, tracking, and ad targeting are hot issues of late. When Apple moved in an interest to protect consumer data privacy, these companies have countered to preserve what advertisers are able to do still. The battle wages on.

Before you go

  • It’s official: Google’s Project Dragonfly is a thing. The search giant is looking at re-entering China’s search market. Here’s an in-depth look at what we know so far and what to expect.
  • Salesforce acquires interactive email service platform Rebel in latest expansion of Marketing Cloud.
  • Will Apple and Salesforce revolutionize CRM?
  • Twitter announced that publishers can now monetize their organic video content globally with in-stream ads.
  • Google ad extensions to be introduced on YouTube — picture marketing teams being able to use movie trailers with location-based show timings.
  • Twitter is partnering with DoubleVerify to authenticate the quality of video ads for large brands.
  • Good insight on navigating Amazon SEO from an ex-employee.
  • Q&A with CMO of Impact following their recent Mediarails acquisition.
  • ICYMI, MarTech was last week — we covered some highlights here and here.

See something we missed? Leave us a comment below!

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