Monetate Raises $15 Million For Realtime Testing And Targeting Platform

Monetate, the platform that provides marketers with testing and targeting services for their websites, announced today that it has closed a $15 million series B funding round. The round was led by OpenView Venture Partners and adds to the $5.1 million series A round the company raised back in December from First Round Capital and FLOODGATE. The latest infusion of capital brings total investment to just over $20 million.

Monetate Co-founders David Brussin and David Brookspan, like many entrepreneurs, have dabbled in several industries. In 2001, Brussin co-founded ePrivacy Group, which created programs, standards and products to protect the email marketing channel; he then went on to found TurnTide, an anti-spam router, which was acquired by Symantec in 2004. By the time Brussin was ready to move on to his next venture, he said, the thing that stuck out the most was how little the position of marketers had changed since the 1990′s.

Marketers were still living in an eCommerce world where they had little control over their own advertising, in spite of the strides taken in display, and were relying on IT teams to take care of the dirty work. So, in 2008, Brussin and Brookspan founded Monetate to allow marketers to gain control over the consumer website experience without having to be expert coders or hire more engineers.

Through its cloud-based marketing platform, Monetate enables marketers to design and run messaging and promotional campaigns, as well as testing those campaigns in realtime before deployment. Traditionally, retailers and brands have looked to port the same experience that customers have in-store to their online storefronts, but, by and large, the customization options online have paled in comparison to their brick and mortar counterparts.

Monetate gives the marketer the ability to change any part of the customer-facing interface in realtime, for any particular customer. Marketers can go into the platform and select targeting for, say, people in New York. Monetate pulls realtime weather data from the Web, while simultaneously gathering the customer’s location data, so that a retail marketer knows that a customer is in New York, where the temperature is cold, thereby allowing marketers to change what’s being offered on the homepage to, say, sweaters and jackets — a targeted and personalized experience for that customer, in realtime.

The cool part of it is that Monetate gives marketers one line of Java code to add to their websites to enable these kind of targeted campaigns — users don’t have to be engineers, or at the office, to achieve this kind of functionality. Marketers, then, can be more spontaneous and focus on reacting to individual customers, testing ideas on the fly, rather than spending months testing campaign ideas, before slowly rolling those ideas out.

Monetate has already attracted brands like Petco, Urban Outfitters, Sports Authority, QVC, Casual Male, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and more, which are now using the startup’s targeting and testing services on their eCommerce platforms. Brussin tells me that many of the brands the team is currently working with have added hundreds of millions in revenue, thanks to Monetate cutting the need for businesses to hire specialized teams, as well as decreasing bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment.

As Monetate is analyzing the data from a customer’s every page view, the startup takes the big data challenges that would normally be the work of an IT staff out of the hands of retailers. Of course, staying on top of those reams of data is no easy task, and while Brussin says that the team prides itself on a near flawless up-time, the startup’s latest infusion of capital will be used to help scale those data systems — as well as scale its own staff and marketing efforts.