Nosing In On Omnichannel: Swrve Buys, Snags $30 Million In Series C

SwrveAdaptivApp marketing vendors are starting to talk about omnichannel. That includes Swrve, the marketing automation company which announced Wednesday that it had acquired, a smaller data automation player.

The move is aimed at helping brands “orchestrate user experiences across traditional channels and mobile channels,” said Swrve CEO Christopher Dean.

That makes sense since no matter how much time people spend with their phones – 90% of time spent on mobile is in apps, according to Flurry – they also spend time reading emails, visiting websites and going to store locations.

“If I take an action in an email or do something online and that’s not reflected within the native mobile app or vice versa, then I’m a frustrated consumer,” Dean said. “Customer records need to be updated across channels in real time.”

That was the core motivation behind the transaction, the terms of which Swrve declined to disclose. Swrve also raised $30 million in Series C funding, the company said Wednesday. None of the cash was used for the acquisition, which was an equity sale. The fresh cash infusion, which was led by Evolution Media Partners, brings Swrve’s total funding to slightly more than $51 million.

The Swrve tech works via SDK integration, which tracks user behavior and engagement in-app and applies predictive models to sense how much time users will spend with an app and when they might be likely to churn.

From there, it’s a matter of triggering contextual messages, which can take the form of push notifications or in-app interstitials. provides what Dean called “a connectivity layer” for Swrve, which is integrated with Marketo, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe and other CRM biggies. also has a rule-based engine that allows apps to trigger specific contextual events through the Swrve platform.

“It’s the merger of ‘if, then that’ on top of data pipes,” Dean said.

For example, if 50% of players keep dying after level four in a particular game, then it makes sense to automatically give them an extra life on their third try so they don’t churn out of frustration. If users keep adding items to their shopping cart but don’t make a purchase, a 20% off coupon could be triggered to encourage the conversion.

Founded in 2009, Swrve started as an analytics and A/B testing company mainly focused on mobile gaming. Although it’s transitioned more toward the brand app space over the intervening years – Swrve’s client base is a nearly equal mix of games and brand apps, Dean said, with a mild skew toward the game side – many best practices that apply to games are easily translatable to brands.

Its strategy these days is to take its game-related learnings and add a little omnichannel flavor.

“Games ensure their success by delivering compelling content and relevant experiences to bring users back again and again,” Dean said. “Brands have a similar requirement to drive engagement, and that happens by reacting to what users are doing and triggering relevant experiences.”

Swrve, whose clients include WB, Sony, EA, Condé Nast, The Guardian, Travelex and Zynga, plans to use most of its Series C funding to grow its sales, customer success, product and engineering teams.

Together with’s 14 employees, all of whom are staying on board, Swrve’s headcount stands at roughly 100. CEO and founder David Lee will now act as Swrve’s VP of strategic accounts, entertainment and gaming, where he told AdExchanger he'll focus on helping clients get a better handle on their cross-platform data.


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