San Diego’s Tealium Raises $10.5M to Advance Tag Management System

Tealium, the four-year-old San Diego startup that created a Web-based service to make it easier for enterprise network marketing staffers to manage their own Web page tags, says today it has raised $10.5 million in Series B financing.

Tealium co-founder Ali Behnam tells me that Boston’s Battery Ventures provided nearly all of the funding, except for roughly $500,000 that came from individual investors. Tealium did not identify other investors in the current round. When the company raised $1.1 million in January, however, the investors included Limelight Networks CEO Jeff Lunsford, former Visual Sciences CEO Jim MacIntyre, Collective CEO Joe Apprendi, EyeWonder CEO John Vincent, and eValue Group CEO Thomas Falk.

Tealium CEO Ali Behnam

“Battery’s investment in Tealium recognizes that this is a hot market,” Behnam tells me. He points out that Neeraj Agrawal, the Battery general partner who is joining Tealium’s board, also led the firm’s investment in Omniture, the Web analytics business acquired in 2009 by Adobe Systems for more than $2.1 billion. “Battery gets analytics, and they believe [tag management] is going to be a second act,” Behnam says.

Behnam told me most enterprise-class websites (operated by corporations, government agencies, and other large organizations) are carrying between 20 and 30 vendor tags on their Web pages. The tracking code that makes up such tags is part of the HTML markup, and typically connects the page with outside services, such as Web analytics.

At this time last year, the company introduced Tealium IQ, a Web-based universal tag management system, to make it easier for marketing staffers to manage what can get to be an unruly assortment of page tags, microformats, meta tags, and other elements in a Web page. Tealium says it now has over 100 customers in five continents, including North America, Europe, and Asia. (Customers include the National Hockey League, News International, Fox Networks Group, Volvo, Nokia, Vodafone Germany, The Finish Line, Lincoln Financial Group, Citrix, and US Auto Parts.)

Today, Tealium has 30 employees, compared with 10 employees a year ago. With Battery’s cash infusion, Behnam says he expects the number of employees to double over the next six to 12 months. “We will invest more in development, and with the product itself,” Behnam says. “No product is ever finished, and so the research and development is never finished either.”

Tealium says Battery decided to make its investment in Tealium after looking at others providing tag-management technologies. The company says Battery cited several factors in its decision to invest in Tealium, including its technology leadership, its focus on corporate marketing users instead of IT personnel, experienced executives, and market momentum.

In today’s statement, Agrawal says, “We are excited about our investment in Tealium because the company fits squarely into our thesis that the marketing function is evolving, Battery. Today’s digital marketer needs to be in control of the online solutions they use every day to drive better business results. New marketing technologies such as tag management provide that.”

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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