In Belgrade, Serbia, a magazine stand and seller in a tobacco shop.
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Snowflake, a cloud data platform which includes hosting for Customer Data Platform (CDP) providers, sold 28 million shares and raised almost $3.4 billion from its IPO this week. The company is now valued at $70 billion. It is now the largest IPO in the software category. VMWare raised nearly $1 billion in 2007.

Snowflake is trading under the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SNOW” and began trading Wednesday, Sept. 16. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Allen & Company LLC, and Citigroup acted as lead book-running managers for the offering.

Several CDPs use Snowflake, including Simon Data, according to David Raab, founder of the CDP Institute. CDP providers MParticle and Acquia-owned AgilOne, have cited Snowflake use cases.

"Snowflake is very well suited to CDP because it’s very flexible in terms of the kinds of data it can store and, being ‘natively’ cloud-based, highly expansible in terms of volume," Raab said. "Being well-suited, it reduces the work that a CDP developer needs to do, which makes it easier to create a CDP product and to deploy CDPs at individual clients. Other cloud databases on Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure have similar advantages."

In other customer experience and digital marketing software news ...

NVIDIA Acquires Arm Limited for $40 Billion

NVIDIA and SoftBank Group Corp. have announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire semiconductor and software design company Arm Limited from SBG and the SoftBank Vision Fund in a transaction valued at $40 billion. Arm Treasure Data, a CDP provider, falls under the Arm Limited umbrella.

NVIDIA offers an AI computing platform. Company officials said NVIDIA will be able to grow computing from the cloud in the areas of smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars, robotics and edge IoT.

As part of NVIDIA, Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining global customer neutrality. Arm partners will also benefit from both companies’ offerings. SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016. NVIDIA intends to retain the name and brand identity of Arm and expand its base in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Arm’s intellectual property will remain registered in the UK. NVIDIA will establish a new global center of excellence in AI research at Arm’s Cambridge campus. NVIDIA will invest in an Arm-powered AI supercomputer, training facilities for developers and a startup incubator. 

In July, Arm announced proposed strategic organizational changes that would transfer its two IoT Services Group (ISG) businesses, IoT Platform and Treasure Data, to new entities. The new entities were at that point owned and operated by SoftBank Group Corp. and its affiliates.

The move allowed Arm to deepen its focus on its core semiconductor IP business and expects to continue collaborating with the new ISG businesses. SoftBank, a telecommunications carrier, acquired Arm for $32 billion in 2016. SoftBank’s experience in managing early-stage businesses would enable ISG to maximize its value in capturing the data opportunity, according to company officials.

Catchpoint to Acquire Webpagetest

Catchpoint, which provides digital experience monitoring, has announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Webpagetest and, an open-source web performance testing software and service. Catchpoint officials said the acquisition is designed to allow the company to strengthen and expand Webpagetest’s capabilities and’s geographical performance testing footprint, leveraging Catchpoint’s infrastructure, adding capacity and improving consistency and quality of analytics. It will feature the merging of Catchpoint’s global monitoring network infrastructure with the web performance testing capabilities of Webpagetest.

The service supports more than 1 million users per month and allows them to run tests from various locations and receive a performance audit of their web pages and web applications. The web performance community will continue to utilize for free.

Observe.AI Raises $54 Million Series B Round

Observe.AI, which provides AI-driven contact center solutions, has announced a $54 million Series B financing led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from Next47 Ventures and NGP Capital. With the money, Observe.AI will expand its go-to market programs and continue to invest in R&D to add new capabilities in the areas of real-time coaching, omnichannel support and interaction analytics. The Series B financing brings the company’s total funding to $88 million, including $80 million in the last 12 months.

Steve Sloane, partner at Menlo Ventures, will be joining Observe.AI’s board of directors. Observe.AI is also accelerating the development of its Contact Center AI Platform with the Microsoft Azure AI and Azure Cognitive Services.

AppDirect Raises $185 Million

AppDirect, a subscription commerce platform, announced investments of $185 million from global institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and existing investors. The $185 million in funding brought the total equity raised by AppDirect to approximately $465 million. The new funding supports accelerated organic expansion, strategic acquisitions and additional hiring.

Company officials claimed in a press release the 2020s are set to become the era of B2B subscription commerce. B2B companies want subscription models for anything that can be monetized based on value rather than ownership, according to officials.

Amperity Debuts 3.0 Version of CDP

Customer Data Platform provider Amperity has released the 3.0 version of its product. It includes three distinct products:

  • AmpID: AmpID is a first-party identity management and resolution product that creates a first-party identity graph and then tunes it with features such as householding, data hygiene and standardization.
  • Amp360: Amp360 provides real-time access to customer data, powering use cases from data science, analytics and marketing, to customer success, finance and compliance. Brands can access the data directly from the real-time query engine.
  • AmpIQ: AmpIQ is a marketer hub for customer intelligence and omni-channel activation and includes tools for metrics and KPIs, customer insights, predictions and segments and campaigns and measurement.

BrightEdge Launches Market Insights and Intelligent Log Analyzer

BrightEdge, an organic search and content performance provider, has released BrightEdge Market Insights and BrightEdge Intelligent Log Analyzer. Company officials say this software release will allow digital marketers to incorporate Business Intelligence (BI) and automate how they optimize web pages and infrastructure.

BrightEdge Market Insights provides customizable macro-market trends for strategic planning and reveals prescriptive opportunities. Combined with BrightEdge Intelligent Log Analyzer, marketers can integrate data, analytics, BI and web infrastructure optimization. BrightEdge Market Insights is built into the BrightEdge S3 platform. The new BI layer is designed to help search professionals understand market drivers, get answers using natural language and simplify complex data analysis with machine learning technologies such as Google's TensorFlow.

Oracle Updates CX Service

Oracle has introduced a series of updates to Oracle CX Service within Oracle Cloud Customer Experience.

  • Digital customer service tools.
  • Automated Service “Digital Trifecta”: Automates service through the integration of Knowledge, Intelligent Advisor and Digital Assistant products.
  • Intelligent Advisor: An enhanced advisor includes new real-time insights.
  • “Service at the Point of Need” Inlays: New inlays or “pop-ups” monitor digital behaviors to read signals when someone might need service, and then offer service.
  • Service Center from Home Capabilities.
  • Agent Experience Upgrades: Allows agents to provide service from home or any location, via any browser or device.
  • Slack integration.
  • Field Service Capabilities: Includes new collaboration, digital assistant and advisor capabilities.  
  • “Where’s My Technician?” feature: Helps customers follow the progress of their service appointments.
  • Field Service Digital Assistant: A new digital assistant helps customer service teams by answering questions for technicians in the field.
  • Customer Data Management enhancements: Includes new features in B2C Service Customer Data Management.
  • Knowledge Management Capabilities: AI capabilities will show agents the best answers, as well as help agents write and search for informative articles.

Optimizely Releases Product Updates at Annual Conference

Optimizely, the digital experience testing and optimization provider acquired by Episerver this month, released a series of product updates at its Opticon20 conference.

The company redesigned its full stack (A/B testing) offering. Company officials offered a preview of a new flag monitoring capability in full stack that brings Optimizely’s data platform and analytics to the company’s delivery feature set. Flag monitoring provides developers insight into how the code they deploy behaves as well as audience analytics.

Optimizely updated its data platform, including a Stats Engine Service, which exposes Optimizely’s proprietary model for AB testing statistical analysis via an API. Users can now run Stats Engine on non-Optimizely datasets from external sources like a data warehouse or analytics tool. 

Optimizely also announced three partnerships and integrations between Optimizely Full Stack and AWS, Microsoft and Salesforce to help teams deliver personalized experiences across channels, embed experimentation into ecommerce platforms and optimize customer service experiences, respectively.

Jellyfish Hires First CMO

Jellyfish, a digital experience agency, has named Sharon Harris as its first chief marketing officer. Harris will oversee Jellyfish’s international marketing strategy across 30 offices. Harris will also spearhead diversity and inclusion initiatives with a focus on advancing women and increasing representation in digital technology careers. 

Prior to joining Jellyfish, Harris served as VP, alliance relationships at Deloitte, where she managed both the Google Cloud Alliance and the Google Marketing Platform Alliance. Harris will be based out of Jellyfish's New York City office and will report directly to CEO Rob Pierre.