The venture capital arms of Citibank and American Express have joined a $21 million funding round for digital marketing communications company Persado.
The Persado software platform uses semantic algorithms to map emotions and generate language for marketing communications such as emails, landing pages, mobile, push notifications and social media.
The funding for the two-year old company comes on the back of a 300% uptick in commercial uptake during the past year, primarily driven by strong demand within financial, retail, telecommunications, and travel and hospitality sectors.
Citi engaged Persado technology in its credit card business and, to date, its email open rates have increased by 70% and click-to-open rates by 114% using the software.
“Our team is focused on investing in next-generation technologies, and Persado’s offering has the potential to improve the way financial services companies engage with customers,” says Arvind Purushotham, managing director, Citi Ventures. “Persado generates messages based on data and insight into what resonates with customers and enables companies to create more meaningful dialogue.”
Persado says funds from the new round - led by StarVest Ventures with participation from existing investor Bain Capital - will be used to launch additional products beyond its core enterprise offering, while also growing sales and marketing worldwide.
“Persuasion automation represents a new class of technology that has far-ranging applications,” says Alex Vratskides, CEO and co-founder of Persado. “In addition to digital marketing and advertising, the use of optimal language designed to drive action extends to areas like digital health, persuading patients to stick to doctors’ recommendations; transactions, persuading people to pay bills; citizen compliance, persuading people not to litter or encouraging them to enroll for healthcare; and elections and social media applications, such as on-line dating. In all cases, Persado is using math and science to eliminate the guesswork of copywriting.”