SAN FRANCISCO – Arena – a communication software platform to enable real-time conversations and encourage customer engagement – announced a $13.6 million Series A round led by CRV with Craft Ventures, Artisanal Ventures and Vela Partners also participating. Angel investors participating in this round include Datadog founder Olivier Pomel and CPO Amit Agarwal, Intercom founder Des Traynor, Shopify former CMO Jeff Weiser, former VP Growth Segment Guillaume Cabane and former Miro CMO Elena Verna.
As more online brands and consumer companies look for ways to move beyond social media and third-party cookies as a way of gaining more direct insights about their users and customers, Arena is leading the movement away from third party sites and social networks with its no-code communication platform that uses engagement data gained from conversations and combines that with AI to better understand who might want to buy what among its customers.
The company was founded by Paulo Martins who was previously one of the first employees at Hulu where he built ad products and growth to help scale the company to 7 million subscribers and $1.1 billion in revenue. Martins was also a former data engineer at NASA where he worked on the algorithm that discovered water and ice on Mars’s surface.
“We built a scalable and easy-to-install chat solution that focuses on building communities and increasing transactions such as live shopping, subscriptions, and donations. It all comes with our customer data platform that converts into first-party data and deeply understands customer behavior using AI” said Martins, who also serves as CEO. “We’re leading the social+ movement and helping companies to integrate conversation and shopping experiences into their products helping to transform the future of ecommerce, streaming, education and online communities.”
The funding comes at a key moment in the world of martech. Due to privacy and conflicts between Facebook and Apple, many companies have shifted their data sourcing activity from third-party to first-party data. With the end of the cookie era, brands and consumer enterprises will focus on building social products and gathering their own customer data rather than relying on the Googles, Facebooks, Amazons of this world to provide the information.
Since the launch, the company has focused on building the product-led growth motion and expanding its customer base to 25,000 accounts, all organically. Now that the company has acquired Fortune 500 customers, the new funds will be dedicated to moving the company up-market to follow the high enterprise demand.