Gigya CEO: We Always Thought ‘Identity Was A 10X Category To Social’

GigyaGigya, a customer identity management platform, has raised $35 million in growth financing led by new investor Intel Capital, bringing its total to $104 million. Common Fund Capital, Vintage Investment Partners and existing investors, also backed Intel in this round.

The new financing will go toward additional hires and to fund international expansion. Gigya’s headcount grew 50% since last September and it now has 325 employees.

Gigya has also entered into a strategic partnership with Intel Security to develop site and mobile-app authentication products. Since 2006, Gigya’s original value proposition revolved around turning unknown site visitors into recognizable customers using social registration data and email log-ins.

Now that the consumer identity net encompasses payments, security and devices, Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer said there has been a need to expand beyond social media. He could not detail the products in full but said they’d focus on “customer identity-related functionality.”

“The new players in this are folks like Amazon, PayPal and Apple,” Salyer said. Facebook also rolled out a persistent, cross-device ID earlier this fall.

“From the get go, we always thought identity was a 10X category to social,” Salyer said. “You have us, and then the sort of DMPs (data-management platforms) of the world who are focused on marrying first- and third-party data, and making that anonymous to do all sorts of targeting.”

Gigya views itself as a DMP complement and partners with a number of them, like Oracle BlueKai and Adobe AudienceManager. Gigya integrated with about 20 enterprise software platforms last year, and now works with over 50 of them including Strongview and Marketo, though its partnerships extend beyond marketing.

The airline KLM uses Gigya to manage its third-party log ins. Once a traveler signs up, Gigya builds out a customer profile which KLM can use to – for instance - understand travelers’ social graphs and preferences. This gave KLM the information to develop an app called Meet and Seat, which connects consumers to likeminded customers in flight.

“They took it a step further where they’re also looking at people’s profiles to identify very high-value travelers and seeing if they like a certain type of food or music interests, and they’re incenting those travelers (in some instances) before a flight,” said Salyer.

While Gigya historically catered to B2C clients, particularly in retail and travel, the company is increasingly seeing interest from telco, financial and B2B-based tech companies.

For a long time, B2B companies have tried to figure out how to get leads and move them through the marketing funnel with standard tools like lead forms. But companies in pursuit of business audiences are now more thoroughly embracing B2C techniques, Salyer said.

“I had a meeting with a large B2B tech company and they want to treat a CEO differently than a CFO and a startup exec differently than a Fortune 500 exec,” he explained. “B2C marketers for a long time have focused on personalization and treated people differently in a programmatic way, but now it’s happening in the B2B space with those bigger [ticket] decisions.”

 

 

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