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Weekly martech review: MetaCX Scott McCorkle, HCL buys IBM products, Firely launches $21.5 seed funding

In our review of last week’s martech news, we highlight:

  1. MetaCX, a new Indy-based startup co-founded by former CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud;
  2. Indian IT company HCL Technologies buying $1.8 billion worth of products from IBM; and
  3. A new adtech-meets-gig-economy startup Firefly that’s launching with a whopping $21.5 million seed round.

Former CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and ExactTarget to serve as CEO of new Indy-based startup MetaCX

What it is

Scott McCorkle was named last week as the new CEO of MetaCX, a SaaS company targeting better collaboration and outcome management for suppliers and buyers of enterprise software.

McCorkle co-founded MetaCX through Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha.

They’ve based $14 million in funding and are looking to launch in early 2019.

Why it matters

MetaCx will be the 11th company launched by High Alpha since its founding in 2015. The owners of the venture studio include former execs (such as CEO Scott Dorsey) of ExactTarget, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2013 for $2.7 billion.

Indian software company HCL to acquire select IBM products for $1.8 billion

What it is

HCL Technologies announced it will purchase a few IBM software products, including: Appscan for secure application development, BigFix for secure device management, Unica for marketing automation, Commerce for omni-channel eCommerce, Portal for digital experience, Notes & Domino for email and low-code rapid application development, and Connections for workstream collaboration.

The all-cash acquisition is expected to close by mid-2019 and is the largest in HCL’s history — and also one of the largest deals by an Indian IT services firm.

Why it matters

HCL is apparently looking to expand their presence in security, marketing, and commerce. For IBM, the deal will help them hone in on bigger fish / more integrated service solutions (like Watson).

On the acquisition, a research SVP at IBM said, “We believe the time is right to divest these select collaboration, marketing and commerce software assets, which are increasingly delivered as stand-alone products. At the same time, we believe these products are a strong strategic fit for HCL, and that HCL is well positioned to drive innovation and growth for their customers.”

Firefly launches with $21.5M in funding to target digital ads on rideshare vehicles

What it is

Startup Firefly launched with $21.5 million already secured in funding — fairly huge for a seed round.

The idea is essentially digital smart screens on top of rideshare vehicles — taxi ads 2.0. Ads change based on location and geotargeting. The startup plans to both pay drivers (who meet a certain quota of driving time) a flat fee per month to feature ads at all, and potentially also paying additional portions of ad revenue (TBD).

Why it matters

This is a fascinating blend of adtech, location-based data, and the gig economy.

The founders apparently also have intentions to use the smart displays as a foundation piece of future smart city networks. They’re including sensors that can collect data on things like air quality and temperature, to be able to relay that data back to governments, nonprofits, etc. That portion of the business will be sans revenue.

Before you go

  • Work with Google SEO? Here are 14 of the most important ranking signals for 2019.
  • Fivetran announced $15M Series A to build automated data pipelines.
  • Facebook Group Stories are now rolled out globally and include emoji reactions.
  • LinkedIn relaunches LinkedIn Pages, including new features such as content suggestions.
  • Curious about applications of deep learning? 5 use cases for online retailers. (From someone who actually uses it.)
  • ‘Tis the season: 7 holiday marketing mistakes to avoid
  • How Nordstrom, Best Buy, and Nike bring personalization to physical stores.

See something we missed? Leave us a comment below!

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