Zeta Global, the software-as-a-service-based marketing automation cloud platform founded by David Steinberg and former Apple CEO, John Sculley, has recently acquired Boomtrain, a marketing platform that is based on machine-learning for something between $35 million and $40 million. With this acquisition, Zeta is now more certain of being able to get closer to leaders in the marketing cloud market like Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, and IBM.
At the operational level, Zeta and Boomtrain is a win-win combination. The software-as-a-service marketing on the cloud of Zeta helps marketers acquire, retain and develop relationships with customers while the machine learning technology of Boomtrain offers artificial intelligence that helps provide personalized messaging across all digital touchpoints.
Zeta was on the lookout for a machine-learning platform that could help it enhance its own machine-learning platforms. Incidentally, Zeta already has a number of patents in machine learning and the acquisition of Boomtrain, which is strong in publishing means that Zeta now has a much wider spectrum of SAS marketing automation services. In fact, Zeta will now leverage Boomtrain’s technology for personalization within ZetaHub, which now means that Zeta has one of the largest patent portfolios of machine-learning tools in the marketing technology arena.
Steinberg said, “We will merge 100 percent of its machine learning, decisions, and marketing automation in our entire marketing cloud. It’s a big deal for us technologically. We looked at this and thought: is this a buy or a build? Our existing team is amazing, but we really felt like this team brought a new vision in where the industry was going from an AI/machine learning perspective. For us, without question, this was all about time. It would have taken our team a long time to do with and we’d have to hire somebody like (Boomtrain co-founder) Chris (Monberg) anyway.” However, he also drew the line on how far he sees the blend going, especially in relation to agency services that Boomtrain offers its clients, saying, “We are not an agency. We don’t want to be in the agency business. We are a software company.”