Marketing Tech Starts Year Strong With 3 MA Deals

[Updated 1/12/16, 2:57 p.m. See below.] It’s still early in the year, but one of Massachusetts’s hottest tech sectors of 2016 is a potentially surprising one: marketing-related software.

Investors have pumped nearly $40 million into a trio of local advertising and marketing software startups in the past week. The investments highlight some of the themes that are top of mind for marketers these days: making ads more personalized, more interactive, less obtrusive, and so on. Software companies think they can help with tools that employ data analytics, machine learning techniques, and other technologies.

Here are the details:

—SmashFly Technologies snagged $22 million in Series B money led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation by previous investor OpenView Venture Partners. SmashFly has raised $31 million total from investors. The Concord, MA-based company said it will use the money to open a Boston office, hire 70 people, and invest in product development.

SmashFly provides marketing software that helps automate and manage the recruiting process, from overseeing job ads and career websites to tracking and analyzing recruitment data.

—Somerville, MA-based Evergage also raised a Series B round—$10 million led by Arrowroot Capital, along with previous investors G20 Ventures and Point Judith Capital. The company has now raised more than $21 million total from investors.

Evergage created a cloud-based marketing software platform that tracks consumer behavior and data in order to promote relevant products and content, and serve up personalized recommendations in real-time. Its customers include LendingTree, WeddingWire, and Zumiez. Evergage said it more than doubled its annual revenue in 2015, and it’s hiring. [This paragraph was updated with more details about how the company’s software works.]

—ViralGains, a Boston-based online video advertising software company, closed on $7.7 million in a Series A round expected to reach $12.3 million. The round was led by Stage 1 Ventures, with participation by 500 Startups, Hub Angels Investment Group, LaunchCapital, Pallasite Ventures, and individual investors.

ViralGains was founded in 2012 and was a MassChallenge winner the following year. It said its customers include 36 companies in the Fortune 500, and it nearly tripled its annual revenue last year.

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