In the latest development, Sarbacane, the French company that makes the Mailify SaaS-based email and text marketing platform, along with other other martech software, has raised $27 million, funding that it plans to use to continue building more technology in areas like AI-based marketing automation, as well as to continue its international expansion.
De Fombelle said that the company plans to use some of the funding to continue making acquisitions as we continue to see more consolidation in the fragmented world of marketing technology. “We raised this money because in Europe, the players in email marketing and marketing automation are ten times smaller than they are in the US,” he said. “The market is huge in Europe but still very fragmented and so we have a big ambition to be a part of the consolidation.
All that potentially puts martech companies, and businesses using a lot of marketing and advertising technology, into an interesting, and sometimes not great, position, but de Fombelle said that in fact it’s been a big benefactor of the rise of GDPR, not least because it has always had a strong view on data protection and put a lot of the measures required by the regulations in place well before they were conceived.
All this, actually, makes Sarbacane quite a typical European startup, where we see a lot of businesses bootstrap themselves for years and turn profitable before at some point tapping investors, while still staying private, to take some money to boost growth. (In fact, just yesterday Mollie out of the Netherlands announced funding around a similar kind of growth/profit story, but there are a number of other examples across the whole of the continent.
Other products that it has moved into over the years include Layout for email design; Sarbacane Chat (for running chatbots); and Touchdown (a kind of all-in-one, multichannel marketing platform akin to Salesforce’s or Adobe’s marketing clouds), and it has more recently started to also grow by way of acquisition, acquiring the Datananas B2B prospecting platform to more deeper into CRM.
Marketing technology — and specifically tools that help companies leverage the internet to connect with customers in a way that is compliant with a new wave of data protection and privacy policies — continues to see a lot of traction with businesses and investors.
There has been a large swing in recent years where people have become acutely aware of marketing technology, but not for a great reason: it’s because of the gradual realisation of just how much of our data is sucked up and used by a wide range of companies to profile us and sell more to us in the future.
Sarbacane’s flagship product is an SaaS-based tool that lets businesses craft, send out, measure and respond to marketing campaigns over email and text messaging, which is sold as Sarbacane in France and Mailify outside of Francophonic countries.