Cordial is preparing to disrupt the business-to-consumer marketing industry – but, as their name suggests, in a nice way.
The San Diego-based company closed a $50 million Series C round on July 26 and aims to broaden its marketing and data management platform and lead the industry beyond the capabilities of firms like Oracle and Salesforce.
“We created Cordial with great intention, building for this new horizon of customer engagement. Cordial gives marketers the ability to use data to engage customers in ways that legacy marketing clouds and next-generation providers simply cannot. This new capital allows us to create even more ways for enterprise marketers to deliver outsized value to their customers while continuing to transform our category,” said Cordial CEO and co-founder Jeremy Swift.
The funding round was led by NewSpring Capital along with ABS Capital and brings total investments in Cordial to $85 million, including funding from previous investors High Alpha and Upfront Ventures.
Alongside the investment, NewSpring Capital Partner Brian Kim will join Cordial’s board of directors and ABS Capital Partner Bion Ludwig will serve as an observer on its board of directors.
“Cordial stands out in its ability to consistently deliver value to marketers in need of a dynamic answer and all-in-one solution for personalization and automation,” Kim said. “Cordial offers what other solutions lack in breadth, scalability, and enterprise-grade support, truly partnering with marketers to make the most of their first- and zero-party data.”
Swift said Cordial offers its clients a better service than legacy companies because their platforms were created in the early 2000s before mobile phones and although they have grown through acquisitions of more modern marketing companies, the result is a “stitched together” product.
Cordial was purposely built to avoid those issues, which Swift had identified in a previous marketing company he started in 2000 called Blue Hornet. He and his fellow co-founders sold that company a few years later, after gaining the experience and know-how to make Cordial’s platform.
“We made a lot of mistakes doing this once before, so we have the luxury with Cordial of hindsight,” Swift said.
Those early mistakes at Blue Hornet informed Cordial’s platform to be open to different data streams beyond email, such as customer loyalty numbers, SMS, app or phone IDs and other identification points.
“Data is the key,” Swift said. “If I’m a marketer I need to know and understand as close to real time as possible what a consumer is doing on my site, in my app, in my physical store if I’m a retailer. If I’m a publisher I want to know what content they’re consuming right now because that should inform the email or SMS or mobile push message that I’m about to send to them and if it doesn’t, then there’s a disconnect and the consumer won’t engage in those channels with me.”
As an example, Swift said he is a regular shopper at Nordstrom’s but still receives email promotions for items like women’s clothes rather than for the kinds of items he purchases there. The disconnect, he said, would be fixed using Cordial because the data from his customer ID number would inform the marketer what items he is interested in.
Cordial clients have witnessed a 250x return on investment, according to the company. Clients range from retail to e-commerce to publishing and include brands like Boot Barn, Eddie Bauer, Revolve, Buzzfeed and Forbes.
“[Businesses] with millions of consumers coming to their site – either to consume content, engage in a game or purchase products,” Swift said. “Our sole mission is to help them understand all those data points and interactions that are occurring with a customer and from there being able to use all of that information to very intelligently personalize campaigns to those customers across email, SMS and mobile.”
In addition to the powerful platform, Cordial is also attracting clients for its focus on people.
“You can’t name your company Cordial and be a jerk at the end of the day,” Swift said. “As a growing company, there are expectations that have come with our name and our people have really risen to the occasion with that.”
CEO: Jeremy Swift
Headquarters: San Diego, Downtown
Business: Cross-channel marketing and data management platform.
Notable: Cordial clients include brand names like Forbes, Boot Barn and Eddie Bauer.