The customer data platform (CDP) has become a standard way to collect first party customer data and put it to work. Simon Data, which was founded in 2015, has always had a vision of being more than purely a customer data repository. It also offers applications out of the box to work with that data, while giving customers the opportunity to build custom applications as they see fit.
The world has caught up with that vision. Every company is talking about building applications now, whether in machine learning models or through other applications. Investors are seeing those trends too, and today the company announced a $54 million Series D.
Company co-founder and CEO Jason Davis says his company has always been focused on looking beyond the pure nuts and bolts of running a CDP and concentrating on what you do with that data once you have it.
“If you were to reimagine what a CDP is outside of what a CDP has been historically with companies like Segment that have collected data and did all the plumbing, and instead reoriented a CDP so that your application allows business stakeholders and marketers to do stuff with data, what does the world look like? And that really has been where we’ve been focused since the beginning,” Davis told TechCrunch.
That has become even more important over the last several years, as companies want to do more than simply collect data, whether it’s in a CDP or a data collection repository like Snowflake or Databricks. They want to put it to work. “Our vision, and the product that we built today is truer to that vision than it ever has been before, has been to serve as the application layer that really unlocks confirmable first party data that brands have stored within their four walls, but marketers haven’t been able to access at all,” he said.
Among the applications available out of the box are audience management, email marketing and customer identification. Davis didn’t want to share the number of customers using the platform, but mentioned some names like JetBlue, SeatGeek and Venmo to name a few.
For an 8-year old company that has now raised over $100 million, it has kept the operation reasonably lean with around 100 employees today with plans to increase that by around 30% in the next year. At a time when investors are looking for efficiency over growth that should resonate. “We are making real investments around R&D and our ecosystem, and we’re also on the path towards profitability and we’re not going to be diverging from that materially,” he said.
When it comes to hiring, the company takes diversity and inclusion very seriously.”I believe, fundamentally, first and foremost, that because we’re solving such hard problems, we need to have folks who help build the business from different angles. We have to have folks who come from different backgrounds, and diversity is the key to everything,” Davis said.
He is doing more than talk. The company has organized internal groups for women, people with neurodiversity, and so forth and each one has a dedicated budget that goes towards awareness, inclusion, and educational initiatives. “I think one of the big challenges about diversity is this lack of awareness that people really have around how it can really drive the business forward, and how it’s not just best for everyone individually, but collectively as a business.”
The company has an office in NYC, but like a lot of startups, it’s a remote-first culture, he says.
Today’s $54M Series D investment was led by Macquarie Capital with participation from existing investors Polaris,.406 Ventures and F-Prime. The company has now raised over $115 million, per Crunchbase data.