Segmint’s sweet spot has always been the financial sector.
But the retargeting company, whose technology has mostly been used to help enterprise banking clients safely tap into reams of highly sensitive first-party customer data, is planning to use a $9 million injection of Series A funding to expand more deeply into the insurance vertical. The company is also looking to move into the retail vertical in the future. The latest round of funding brings Segmint’s total to $23 million.
Although company CEO Rob Heiser declined to name the specific investor, he was able to say that the money came courtesy of “a leading global fintech company.”
Segmint’s technology is designed to let financial institutions anonymize CRM data and use it to target consumers across desktop and mobile with personalized messages at the moment of purchase. The data can also be used to either predict their future shopping behavior or determine when they’re in-market for a particular product based on previous activity. For example, if a bank is offering a new type of college savings plan, Segmint can deliver related messages to consumers who either already have young children or are considering starting a family, Heiser said.
Segmint partners with third parties who resell its technology, either on its own or as part of a white-label product. Right now, Segmint works with three resellers – Cognizant, Computershare and FIS – as well as ad agency network Magnet. “Because we work through the resellers and partners, they’re the ones with the direct clients,” Heiser said.
Because it works with sensitive first-party data – including purchase history and bank transactions – Segmint has drafted strong policies for how to handle personally identifiable information. It collects personal characteristics (behavior, consumer lifecycle stage) rather than individual specifics (name, address).
“We have a closed-loop system where our clients provide the anonymous first-party data and it never leaves our system,” Heiser said. “We analyze all of the data, organize it, and then deliver the messages through our own media buys.”
Heiser said Segmint comfortably straddles the fine line between creepy and relevant. If a customer just had a baby, he or she probably wants to hear about a college savings plan. If a young professional just graduated from college, it makes sense for that person to get info about starting a 401(k) plan. That’s the theory, anyway.
Part of the reason that Segmint decided to focus on the financial sector until now, Heiser said, is the industry’s inherent complexity. “We recognized that the traditional relationships between a banker and a consumer have dwindled and that financial services products, such as mortgages, savings plans or loans, are very complex when it comes to the right time for consumers to move forward with the products,” he said.
And the same is true for the insurance industry, where Segmint is planning to use its new cash to double down. From there, retail is Segmint’s next strategic expansion, Heiser said.
In addition to experimenting with new verticals, Segmint plans to spend its new funding on tech enhancements, new product releases, and adding 15 to 20 new employees to its current staff of 27 over the next 12 to 18 months.