When you talk to ad tech and analytics companies, one thing you hear over and over again is the promise to deliver recommendations that marketers can act on, rather than overwhelming them with data and graphs.
MaestroIQ is the latest startup to make that pitch, but it looks like it has the team and investors to back up that claim. The company is announcing today that it has raised $1.75 million in seed funding.
You can see a demo video at the end of this post, but the gist is that marketers should be able to enter their business goals, then MaestroIQ can recommend where and how they should spend their money to best achieve those goals. Sounds pretty simple, but to pull this off, co-founder and CEO Vasu Prathipati said the company uses technology like machine learning and draws on data about where someone is in the “customer journey.”
“We provide recommendations and workflow, not business consulting and best practices,” Prathipati added.
MaestroIQ customers include TodayTix, Boxed, and SeatGeek. As an example, Prathipati said that SeatGeek has a team focused on getting existing customers to come back, and MaestroIQ can help them figure out who to target and how to reach out to them. In an emailed statement, SeatGeek said:
MaestroIQ helps us transform our marketing from one-off campaigns to continuous conversations with our customers. As each customer moves along their journey with Seatgeek, we can keep the conversation relevant.
Prathipati also pointed to a recent post from Buddy Media co-founder Michael Lazerow that’s all about the importance to marketers of understanding the full customer journey. However, Prathipati actually plans to challenge Lazerow’s current employer Salesforce.com (which acquired both Buddy Media and online marketing company ExactTarget): “We’re taking down ExactTarget and we want the world to know it.”
But doesn’t Salesforce have more resources? Chief Technology Officer Harrison Hunter countered that MaestroIQ is focused on this area, with a “prescriptive-first mindset.” And Prathipati suggested that in the past, Salesforce has sometimes had to acquire technology instead of build it, for example with last year’s purchase of RelateIQ.
As for the MaestroIQ team, Hunter is pretty impressive himself — he said he started at MIT as a 15-year-old before dropping out to co-found the company. In fact, four out of the company’s five engineers went to MIT. Not that we need to be overly impressed by a fancy school, but it’s not a bad sign, anyway.
Prathipati said he’s the only non-engineer on staff, though that’ll probably change with the new funding. The money comes from Foundation Capital, Eniac Ventures (which just announced funding of its own), Deep Fork Capital, KEC Ventures, First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund, angel investor Jim Pallotta, and Crosslink Capital.
MaestroIQ was incubated at Eniac, and Eniac partner Nihal Mehta sits on its board of directors. Mehta told me that this is “definitely one of the best teams in our portfolio” with “a huge, greenfield opportunity.”
By the way, the company used to be called AdTrib, but just rebranded because it’s no longer focused solely on ad attribution. To explain the new name, Prathipati compared a marketer managing all their various efforts to an orchestra conductor. (Weird. This is the second marketing company with a musically themed name that I’ve written about today.)