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Arena Raises $2.3 Million Seed 2 Round Led by Redpoint Eventures

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Arena enables media and e-commerce companies and nearly every other online business to improve experiences and reclaim ownership of their audiences from social media giants

During his days at Hulu as part of the advertising sales team that scaled the media company’s revenue from $80 million to more than $1 billion, Arena CEO Paulo Martins had an epiphany. Nearly every single company in the world needs to make marketing decisions based on customer data and build their own customer experiences to more wisely spend marketing dollars.

And, with the current situation of online and social media giants owning the customer experience, data and relationships, many companies have become disintermediated from their own customers; including media companies that have been most impacted and hurt by social media giants’ ascension during the last decade.

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Today, San Francisco-based Arena (arena.im), a cloud-based experience and customer data platform (CDP) for consumer enterprises such as media, telecoms and e-commerce companies, announced it has received US$2.3 million in seed 2 funding led by Redpoint eventures, the first Silicon Valley VC fund on the ground in Brazil. In total, Arena has now raised $3.3 million in seed funding. Other investors include Incubate Fund, Plug and Play and Intango Ventures.

Martins and co-founder Rodrigo Reis, who serves as Arena’s CTO, plan to use the new investment to expand their sales and marketing team and grow the company’s footprint in more global markets. Today, Arena is trusted by thousands of customers in more than 120 countries including Microsoft, Rogers Communications and Turner, in addition to e-commerce and telecom companies. Sports leagues and broadcast networks such as FOX Sports, Nascar and Sony Music use Arena to deliver the best user experiences by customizing content and interactions and driving more app downloads and premium product subscriptions. FOX Sports boosted its real-time engagement by three times with Arena.

How Arena’s real-time experience and data platform works

“Arena provides a unique pixel to understand customer behaviour and preferences based on context. That first-party data is rapidly processed via an advanced AI engine and fed into our experience personalization system. Then, our customers can deliver highly customized experiences to their mobile and websites, at scale. Combined with other engagement tools that we offer including live chat, push notifications and live blog, Arena boosts site visitor retention and conversions to increase growth for companies of any size,” said Martins.

“We’re now experiencing a huge uptick in new deals so far in 2020, despite the current economic crisis, from online companies in a variety of fast-growth sectors such as streaming media, distance learning, virtual events and e-commerce players. Nearly every product and marketing team is now focused on delivering more personalized experiences in real time using their own first-party data without relying on social media or cookies. We provide a white-label data and experience personalization infrastructure for them.”

“When we started building Arena, we thought: how can we build a Facebook and Google-like infrastructure of real-time aggregated data and digital experiences to be deployed in minutes. We want to make it drop-dead simple by delivering a code-free platform for product, developers, and marketing teams to build their own experiences within their own digital properties,” said Reis. “With our AI-powered experience personalization platform, our customers build audiences and campaigns without relying on social media and cookies that are falling out of favor.”

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“Marketers have been promised the power of digital personalization to drive better conversion rates and higher average orders for more than a decade. Arena has delivered the real deal. Its experience personalization platform is marketer-friendly and data-driven in real time without compromising site visitors’ privacy. Importantly, it reverts the conversations and interactions with customers back on to company websites so they can fully control the experience without needing to rely on an intermediary,” said Romero Rodrigues, managing partner at Redpoint eventures and co-founder of Buscapé Company, a comparison shopping service that was sold to Naspers in 2009 for $374 million.

Arena’s platform is catching on fast with big customers

Arena, which is experiencing rapid growth compared to 2019, is winning more large contracts with enterprise customers over Adobe and Salesforce; and some of those larger companies are now using Arena instead of more traditional customer relationship management (CRM) or data management platform (DMP) systems at a fraction of the cost. Because Arena can use anonymized customer data to improve user experiences to marketing campaigns in real time, companies like Globo, a Brazilian free-to-air television network, are adopting high-performance alternatives from Arena.

Another company deploying Arena to millions of users is The Japan Times, Japan’s largest and oldest English-language newspaper. The respected media company signed on with Arena to provide its readers with real-time information updates as part of the news sites’ coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In doing so, The Japan Times has increased its visitor engagement (to 27.5 minutes per session), retention and subscription revenues for its premium products by helping to convert visitors to subscribers by a factor of 10.

Rogers Telecom, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Rogers Communications, is using Arena to deploy the solution to 72 brands through Rogers Media, a multi-platform media network of 200+ websites, 60+ apps, 56 radio stations and seven TV stations that together reach about 96 percent of Canadian consumers. Arena is being deployed across Rogers Media’s network to increase engagement and more personalized experiences in real time.

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