Retargeting platform AdRoll purchases userfox

The e-mail retention service will be gradually shut down and integrated into AdRoll

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 23, 2014
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As we all know by now, everything we do online makes us a potential customer. Every site we visit, every service we sign up for; it all give advertisers and marketers more information about us to use to sell us things. Even if we don't actually buy anything, they have ways to retarget us on other sites and on social media.

The question is, though, what is the best way to get potential customers back? There are multiple options for how this can be done. For retargeting platform AdRoll, it has been display, and in-feed, advertisements. You visit a website, then go to social media and you will see sponsored stories on Facebook and Twitter for that website.

Now the company is ready to try new way of hooking those customers: e-mail. AdRoll has purchased userfox, a Y Combinator-backed startup that helps marketers send retargeted ads through e-mail, it was announced on Thursday.

No financial terms of the deal are being discussed.

Founded in 2012 by Peter Clark and Cesar Alaniz, userfox uses a e-mail retention service that sends over two million emails per month for thousands of customers.  

So, if a user goes to a SaaS or B2B site and signs up for a trial or buys a product, usefox makes it easy for the company to make a drip e-mail in order to to follow up after a certain amount of time to talk about the service/product. It provides a javascript snippet to the site’s footer, the ability to create email messages with the userfox dashboard and email themes.

The company, which graduated from Y Combinator, raised $700,000 in January of 2012 from Point Nine Capital, Y Combinator and 500 Startups.

The two companies "hit if off really well" because have they both "have the same exact worldview," said Bell. And that is to find ways to allow advertisers to reach out to potential customers.

"They just use e-mail instead of ads."

While the acquisition will give AdRoll a new way to retarget potential customers, there is another benefit for the company: it will also give AdRoll new ways to pull in customer data, including CRMs, email lists, and mobile IDs for advertisers.

 AdRoll mantra has a mantra:“Collect, analyze, and act." Userfox will be the "collect" part of that equation.

“Like AdRoll, we created userfox to bring marketing technology typically reserved for Fortune 100 businesses to companies of all sizes and we have always been relentless about raising the bar for simple yet effective products,” Clark, the CEO and co-founder of userfox, said in a statement.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to focus on helping AdRoll build and deliver delightful, innovative products to tens of thousands of customers around the world.”

Founded in 2007, the San Francisco-based AdRoll has over 10,000 customers and it boasts a 97% customer retention rate. In 2012  it was named the fastest growing private company in California. 

The company has raised a total of $23 million, most recently taking in $15 million in a Series B round of funding led by Foundation Capital and with support of previous investors Merus Capital and Accel Partners. 

The purchase of userfox is AdRoll’s second acquisition. It follows the company’s purchase of data analytics startup Bitdeli in June 2013.

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