Motista raises $4.5M for market intelligence

Helping marketers figure out the best way to reach a target audience, Motista fueled by VCs

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
March 23, 2011
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1872

Motista, an on-demand and Web-based consumer intelligence application for marketers, announced Wednesday morning that it has raised $4.5 million in Series A financing from El Dorado Ventures, an early-stage IT-focused firm. Prior to this round, Motista had been funded by unnamed angels, company founders and revenue.

Tom Peterson, General Partner at El Dorado Ventures, joins Motista's board of directors. Previous investments by El Dorado include Badgeville (social rewards and analytics), Jigsaw (business contact data) and Lithium Technologies (social CRM).

I got a chance yesterday to talk on the phone with Scott Magids, co-founder and CEO of Motista, who told me that the company’s first round of institutional funding coincides with its exit from stealth mode.

In contrast to more traditional means of discovering what motivates people’s behavior in making purchases, which typically involves lengthy and expensive custom research processes, Motista claims to offer marketers just-as-good results from on-demand Web apps.

The last several years were marked by an intense R&D mode, says Magids, where Motista worked closely with leading brands to mature its Web-based app for “consumer connection intelligence.” Though he wouldn’t let on the names of any specific companies, Magids says the brands hail from a wide range of sectors, including financial services, consumer electronics and retail.

Motista’s actual system seems dead simple. Marketers need only select a specific segment (affluent? Hispanic? female?) and Motista leads the way to messages most likely to effectively motivate that particular segment.

Before, marketers “usually faced four to six months of custom research programs, focus groups, etc.,” explained Magids, “but by the time that’s done, you’ve already run your program. The pace of marketing has accelerated and clients increasingly seek to build deeper connections with consumers.”

To that end, he believes Motista provides a “profoundly better mousetrap.”

Magids says the new funding will be used more to invest in sales and marketing than the actual product, which has already been developed over the years.

Finally, along with the company’s new funding and emergence from stealth mode, Motista also announced relocation of its corporate headquarters from Rockville, Md. to San Mateo, Calif.

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