Kahuna raises $11M for mobile marketing automation

Faith Merino · February 26, 2014 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3548

The company welcomes AdMob founder Omar Hamoui to its board

Mobile monetization has been a tough gig for a lot of companies. Facebook and Twitter have more or less figured it out. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is stumbling along with those teeny tiny banner ads, obnoxious push notifications, and so on, because they haven't figured out that people hate them. Kahuna launched four months ago to help brands get their mobile houses in order, and now the company is announcing an $11 million Series A round from Sequoia Capital.

With major brands like Yahoo, 1-800-Flowers, and the New England Patriots as customers, Kahuna differs from other mobile marketing automation services with its AtoE Testing technology and its Push Response Tracking.

While other platforms offer A/B testing, Kahuna’s AtoE Testing allows marketers to simultaneously test five different messages among a control group to find out which one resonates most effectively. From there, marketers can track their messages via Kahuna’s Push Response Tracking, which analyzes different inputs and reactions to push messages, and integrates that information to provide data on how audiences respond to campaigns.  

The Push Response Tracking solution allows marketers to determine how the customer responded to the message, whether the customer re-engaged because of the message, or whether the customer ultimately opted out of push messaging because of it.

ThredUP saw mobile engagement increase 21% last month after using Kahuna’s solutions, which is a 900% annual growth rate. And a “large travel company” saw purchase conversion increase by 50%.

“Kahuna is committed to ‘Understand and Engage’ - Helping our customers understand every person across mobile and web, and engage with them in the best way possible,” said CEO Adam Marchick. “For ‘Understand,’ expect many more capabilities that elucidate every person’s interests, affinities and actions…For ‘Engage,’ Kahuna is helping companies engage customers in the best way possible. We are not a Push Notification company – we just built the best Push Notification service in the world because it is a great way to engage customers. Expect many more channels for engagement coming, some of which are already in production.”

Kahuna also announced a partnership with mobile commerce platform provider Branding Brand, which will roll out Kahuna’s solutions to its 250+ retail clients.

“Adam, Jacob, and their team focused on applying innovative technology to one of the marketing industry’s biggest pain points—mobile engagement,” said Sequoia partner Omar Hamoui, in a statement. “The result has been rapid adoption by mobile leaders who understand what a substantial difference Kahuna can make in determining the success of mobile marketing efforts.”

Hamoui, the founder of AdMob, has also joined Kahuna’s board of directors.

The company plans to use the new capital to continue developing its mobile marketing solution, scale operations, and grow its customer base. 


Image source: responsys.com

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