E-mail Adtech Player LiveIntent Finds its Stride, Plans More Growth

4/14/14Follow @jpruth

New York’s LiveIntent is just settling into its latest offices, but the company is already planning to bulk up its ranks.

Dave Hendricks, president at the e-mail ad technology company, says LiveIntent’s staff of 100 will “grow radically again this year,” as it puts funding it raised to work.

Content publishers use LiveIntent’s software to choose which ads appear when someone opens e-mails from them. Hendrick’s says his company is scaling up as more businesses and individuals become potential customers.

Kraft Foods, for example, sends out a newsletter about its cheeses, with recipes for consumers. “We help monetize and fund that marketing effort by placing ad tags in their newsletters,” Hendricks says. Those “tags” give businesses the ability to run their own marketing or take ads from LiveIntent’s ad exchange.

“When we first started, we working with typical publishers such as newspapers and magazines,” he says. “Now the Internet has turned pretty much everyone into a publisher.”

E-mail continues to be an essential means of communication, Hendricks says, and is a way to market to more and more customers. Travel companies, he says, can use LiveIntent for transactional messages, such as e-mail receipts sent after tickets are purchased. “The real business of our company is allowing brands to connect with consumers,” he says. This is done, Hendricks says, through what is called CRM retargeting, using data about customers to help choose digital ads when the customer opens an e-mail.

The marketing messages are determined by demographics and other factors to tailor the pitches to the person. For example, retailers using LiveIntent might bid to get their ads put into e-mail newsletters sent by certain news outlets. Eyeing opportunities to work with more customers, LiveIntent raised $20 million in January in a Series C round led by Bullpen Capital, with Ipha Capital and others participating.

Part of that funding went towards new digs for LiveIntent a block away from the World Trade Center and Hendricks says the company will eventually need even more room. “We’ll probably grow our staff 50 percent this year over last year,” he says. The company also hopes to enter into some business relationships in Brazil, Japan, and Britain, Hendricks says.

This is not the first employee growth spurt at the company. Back in 2011, LiveIntent had a staff of 25 and was similarly planning to expand after a funding round. The company’s other backers include Shasta Ventures, Battery Ventures, Lerer Ventures, First Round Capital, and Grape Arbor VC.

Hendricks says LiveIntent now has more than 500 clients, who collectively put out more than 4,000 newsletters that reach almost 70 million unique recipients per month. He believes his company has even more opportunities to put its software to work. “You just cannot operate [on] the Internet without an e-mail address,” Hendricks says. “It’s not possible.”

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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