Why We Are Proud to Invest in Zaius

This story begins with a question:

How can a business get a unified picture of their customers across all their touch points, in real time, and then empower their marketers (not IT or analysts) to make sense of it and drive campaigns to engage, convert, and retain customers?

It was a relatively easy problem in “Marketing 1.0” when you interacted with customers in single channels like the web, or email. But the world’s leading brands are in increasing pain as their customer interactions fragment and become more real time across web, mobile and social. And with the emergence of walled gardens like Google and socially controlled sites like Facebook it has simply become impossible to understand cross-channel behavior with current point solutions.

During our diligence we heard things like this from one of Zaius’ customers, Moda Operandi:

“Over the years we deployed a number of point solutions which led to multiple versions of the truth across the organization,” said Keiron McCammon CTO Moda Operandi. “The result was that our business was unable to make quick, well-informed decisions without a lot of manual effort. We brought in Zaius to unify our data and be the single source of truth on which all business decisions are made.”

And that’s just the beginning, even if you can unify the data. The real challenge is turn it into actionable information to segment, customize, personalize and manage frequency of engagement with customers in real time when and where it will be most effective.

In the words of one of Zaius’ customers, Nine West:

“We’ve used or tried most of the digital analytics platforms, email service providers and other marketing applications available but the ability to quickly analyze digital behavior and execute marketing campaigns against the insights has been elusive,”

Enter Zaius, the only CRM built for the scale and velocity of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers

“With a unique combination of flexible analytic capabilities, integrated cross-channel marketing execution, and ease of use, we see Zaius as the future of CRM.” said Andy Cho, VP of E-Commerce, Nine West Group.

With a big market going through a major shift and customer references like these, it’s not hard to see why we came to love Zaius’ customer centric approach to solving the problems “Marketing 1.0” has created.

But of course it takes a great team to realize this potential, and in Zaius’ case it come from a combination of Big Data and Marketing domain expertise. Founded by Spencer Pingry, Zaius is led by a proven group of entrepreneurs, with deep understanding of the challenge of managing customer data at enormous scale for marketing led businesses. Spencer has worked with this quantity of data for over a decade, unifying thousands of terabytes of customer data per night at AOL, and later managing billions of events per day while managing large scale insight computing problems at Netezza.

Spencer is joined by Mark Gally, Zaius’ CEO. Mark is a serial entrepreneur who has managed marketing and sales organizations at high growth analytics companies. Mark is proving once again that he knows how to scale up Zaius as he and the team are meeting the needs of huge customers like Yahoo.

And the results of this team have been dramatic, with Zaius’ typical customer seeing a 20% increase in customer lifetime value in the first year alone. Unlike the siloed single channel-centric approaches of “Marketing 1.0” which cannot comprehend the potential customer lifetime value — we saw Zaius’ approach unlock major uplift for customers like Easy Spirit.

Today we’re honored to announce we’re leading their Series A and underscoring them with our community. This fits exceptionally well with our Cloud Intelligence thesis. And looked at with our other recent investment in Mautic, which integrates the marketing automation stack through open source, Zaius unifies the resulting data to provide the single source for holistic customer intelligence to drive effective marketing and business decisions. We see Zaius poised to make as big of an impact in CRM for B2C companies as Salesforce did for B2B companies.

But as noted in Our Letter to You, the Entrepreneur — we believe it takes a community to build a great company. Accordingly we’ve curated a group mainly drawn from our Marketing leaders to work with Zaius. This group includes Chris Litster our EiR and former CRO of Constant Contact who is digging alongside the team:

“Zaius is attacking the ‘grand unfulfilled promise’ of marketing technology. It’s a constant challenge that I, and just about every other marketing professional, have faced time and time again throughout our careers.”
— Chris Litster, former CRO of Constant Contact, EiR at Underscore VC

As Zaius grows, we will continue to support the team with the resources needed for each part of their entrepreneurial journey — the right Core members who can help at each stage of Zaius’ growth. And like Chris we will reward them with shares from our ongoing investment.

We feel privileged to have the opportunity to invest in Zaius, leading this $8M funding syndicate with great investors like Matrix and Leaders Fund. We are all excited by what they have accomplished so far and look forward to seeing how we and the Core community can support their continued success.