Tealium Adds $35M to Expand Technology, Sharpen Customer Focus

Tealium, a San-Diego startup that provides online advertising tag management and marketing services for enterprise customers, has raised $35 million in a growth financing deal intended to expand its technology and market reach.

Georgian Partners and Bain Capital Ventures, the investment firms that anchored Tealium’s $30.7 million Series D round in early 2015, re-upped in the latest round, which included all existing investors and some debt, Tealium CEO Jeff Lunsford said last week. Tealium, founded in 2008, has raised close to $113 million since its inception, according to Crunchbase, although that number includes both debt and equity deals.

Tealium also unveiled a new “executive briefing center” (pictured above) at its expanded San Diego headquarters. In a statement last week, Tealium said it created the briefing center to help its customers understand how its services can be combined to deliver compelling experiences.

Tealium now has about 700 customers, including major companies in healthcare, financial services, travel, and technology, Lunsford said. The company’s workforce has grown to about 270, including 80 in San Diego. The company has regional offices in London, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo.

Tealium initially focused on helping corporations, government agencies, and other “enterprise” customers to manage “tags,” the snippets of JavaScript embedded in Web pages or e-mails. Tags are a creature of Web analytics, generating data that enable marketing teams to determine if users viewed a Web page or e-mail. In recent years, the company has expanded beyond its core technology to help its customers track their customers through affiliate marketing, display advertising, and online search and social media, and to target market segments with specific product offers.

“We help our customers weave together all the data across all of their data streams,” Lunsford said. Tealium said its business grew by 60 percent in the first half of 2016, but the company did not disclose specifics about its revenue.

“We have a market-leading tag management platform that is the on-ramp to a marketing-led customer management platform,” Lunsford said. “For us, it’s never been about tags or Javascript. It’s been about data. It’s about defining your data across the Web and now mobile.”

Lunsford joined Tealium at the beginning of 2013, after a seven-year run as the CEO of Limelight Networks in Tempe, AZ. He was an early angel investor in Tealium, having worked with founders Ali Behnam and Mike Anderson at San Diego-based WebSideStory. (The Tealium co-founder is not to be confused with Ali Behnam of San Francisco’s Riviera Partners.)

Lunsford oversaw WebSideStory’s IPO in 2004, and Limelight’s IPO in 2007. Omniture acquired San Diego-based WebSideStory in 2008 (after the company had rebranded itself as Visual Sciences), and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) acquired Omniture in 2009.

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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