Terragon, which converts telco channels into mobile advertising inventory, closed a $9 million Series B financing today to broaden its concentration on supplying mobile B2C messaging underpinned by deep customer knowledge from “big data.”
Orange Ventures led the investment, which included TLcom Capital, LoftyInc, Sango Capital, VestedWorld, and Western Technology Investment (WTI).
Terragon, a prominent data and cloud martech company in Africa, provides data about the continent’s booming customer markets to its users (mainly telecommunications and financial services businesses) through many products.
Its core product, Adrenaline, is a telco-data monetization solution that allows telcos to expand their revenue and marketers to reach specialized populations that would normally be unavailable through standard marketing channels.
Terragon customers can use these technologies to hone in on different kinds of behavioral and demographic information, contact customers through video and SMS campaigns, and connect to online sales and payment systems.
As stated by the company, the investment will enable it to expand cloud-native capabilities on its platform as well as develop and expedite localized ML and AI to provide the groundwork for larger enterprise communication.
According to founder and CEO Elo Umeh, the company intends to commence its Pan-African expansion (which it is already doing in Ghana and Kenya).
The increasing investment, as well as interest from French telecom heavyweights and cooperation with AWS and Microsoft, validates Africa’s market maturity in cloud and martech.
In February, four of Europe’s top operators (Deutsche Telekom of Germany, Orange of France, Telefónica of Spain, and Vodafone of the United Kingdom) created a cooperative venture to target mobile users with opt-in advertising.
Furthermore, these telcos intend to leverage high-level changes to the monitoring cookie’s current state in order to produce ad revenue by establishing cross-operator ad-targeting infrastructure based on first-party data through this cooperation (TrustPid).
Third-party cookies will be gradually phased out by Google in order to enhance user privacy. Third-party cookies, according to the advertising giant, violate users’ privacy by permitting websites to track them without their permission.
The removal of third-party cookies will have a number of ramifications for the online advertising industry, as advertisers will not be prepared to monitor users across multiple websites, and they are going to require new methods to collect, analyze, and tailor consumer information in order to provide personalized ads and experiences to consumers.
Rather than depending on third-party cookies, businesses will need to combine a variety of identification methods.
To precisely profile consumers, a central Customer Data Platform (CDP) that depends on a first-party data source (such as TrustPid) and incorporates it with other online data sources seems to be the solution, much like what Terragon has been implementing for many years with different telcos in the African market, including MTN Nigeria and Airtel.
Adrenaline’s rise was made possible by Africa’s status as a mobile-first continent. Because email addresses, rather than mobile phone numbers, have typically been used as distinctive identifiers for digital services in Europe, the number of sources that systems like TrustPid may use to identify and follow clients has been limited. As a result, Europe and the Global North are often on the defensive.
Africa, as a mobile-only continent, has seen substantial internet connectivity expansion in recent years. In Africa, about half a billion people utilize mobile services, and mobile phone numbers continue to be the primary identifier for digital services because many people do not have email addresses.
Users sign up for sites such as Jumia and Netflix using their phone numbers rather than email addresses, as is the case in Europe.
As a result, this framework (which Terragon used in conjunction with data from online sources such as Datadog and Databricks) enables advertisers and marketers on the continent to continue acquiring the data needed to keep their businesses alive.
However, Africa has less severe extensive privacy laws for customer legislation than Europe, making it simpler for Terragon to expand its services throughout the continent. According to Umeh, the company’s revenue has increased 10x since its Series A in 2018, with a 100% year-over-year growth rate predicted through 2023.
“Terragon is well-positioned to ride a wave that will converge software, traditional telcos, enterprise, and digital native businesses.”
The size of the opportunity was very convincing to us, their existing ambition and investment in Africa-focused software products was compelling, and their vision of how African mobile users will evolve in the coming years fit right into Orange Ventures’ strategy,” said Grégoire de Padirac, partner at Orange Ventures, of the investment.
“They are Africa’s pioneer in cloud-native data software, which serves as the foundation for enterprise AI across the continent.” They are well-positioned to create strong leadership across the continent, with protected intellectual property, a creative business model, and a strong presence in several markets.”
This publication appeared first on Techcrunch.
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