NextStage Participates in $8M Sidecar Financing
Created on Friday, 20 November 2015 16:37
A MILESTONE MOMENT:
SIDECAR CLOSES AN $8
MILLION SERIES B
Today is an exceptional day for Sidecar, our investors, and our customers. I am very excited to announce that today Sidecar officially closed an $8 million Series B investment round led by Ascent Ventures, a Boston-based VC that specializes in backing early-stage technology companies. This marks Ascent's first investment in a Philadelphia-based tech company.
This news comes on the heels of a year marked by exceptional growth for Sidecar. In 2015, the company signed nearly three times as many new customers compared to 2014 and doubled its employee base.
How’d We Get Here?
In early 2014, we predicted that a dramatic shift was about to take place in e-commerce marketing. We saw early signals of what would become a rapid and important change in the way that consumers make online purchases -- specifically in the e-commerce search-to-transaction journey.
By early 2015, product-level advertising for online retailers began to outpace other forms of digital marketing in both performance and revenue, and retailer investment in those channels began to explode. As such, search engines like Google and Bing started heavily investing in their product ad offerings to meet both consumer and retailer demand.
And Sidecar was right there to realize this enormous opportunity.
While these new ad formats presented a whole new opportunity for retailers, they also brought a new and complicated challenge. Product-level advertising requires retailers to understand how to position and promote each individual item in their catalog to connect with the right consumer. This demands a far greater degree of sophistication and granularity than traditional marketing agencies and technology platforms can handle.
We saw early signals of what would become a rapid and important change in the way that consumers make online purchases -- specifically in the e-commerce search-to-transaction journey.
Sidecar decided to meet those challenges. We established a focused mission to create specific technology to deliver the precision and frequency of decision making required to get the most out of product advertising. That meant building technology to programmatically align products with those consumers who are most likely to purchase them.
We did just that, starting in the Google Shopping channel. Retailers that use Sidecar in Google Shopping see an average 50 percent increase in year-over-year channel revenue and a simultaneous 10 percent decrease in cost of revenue.
Consequently, the demand for our programmatic technology exploded, and we realized the opportunity we had to quickly scale our team and our innovations to meet this demand with a Series B round of financing.
Google Shopping remains a powerhouse for retailers and consumers alike. Sidecar will make significant investments in Google Shopping as it continues to mature and evolve with more sophisticated features. We have some major announcements in store for our Google Shopping offering in Q1 2016.
That said, consumers, retailers, and ad networks Internet-wide are showing great affinity for product ads versus other forms of digital advertising. In the last six months, every major ad network, including the largest social media players, have announced product ad solutions. As such, Sidecar will be delivering technology to help retailers connect relevant products with targeted consumers in more channels in 2016.
We will also significantly build up our sales, marketing, client services, and R&D teams to continue fueling growth and satisfying the demand for Sidecar’s award-winning tech. We plan to double our team once again next year and continue building a world-class organization of innovators and hustlers.
And as always, every step we take will be for the express purpose of continuing to deliver stellar financial results to our retail and e-commerce customers.
A Word of Thanks
In addition to Ascent, Osage Venture Partners and other new and existing institutional and angel investors also participated in the round, including: Michael Rubin, former CEO of GSI Commerce;Sashi Reddi, former CEO and founder of AppLabs; Jonathan Brassington, CEO of LiquidHub; Paul Melchiorre, President of iPipeline; Michael Phelan, former CEO of SevOne; Scott Tarte, CEO of Sparks;Richard Vague, former CEO of Energy Plus and First USA; Tony Ibarguen, CEO of Quench; NextStage Capital; Robin Hood Ventures; Ben Franklin Technology Partners; Innovation Capital Advisors; andARC Angel Fund. We are thankful to all of our investors for their faith in our technology and our team.
Sidecar will be delivering technology to help retailers connect relevant products with targeted consumers in more channels in 2016.
We’re extremely grateful to our loyal customers, and the trust they place in Sidecar to drive revenue for their businesses every day.
Lastly, the kind of rapid success Sidecar has seen this year is simply not possible without a stellar team to make it happen. I am beyond privileged to work with one of the smartest, most dedicated, and most innovative teams in the tech world. I cannot say enough about how the contributions of each and every Sidecar employee have played an integral role in getting us to this point.
We’re stoked to go into what promises to be a pivotal 2016 for Sidecar, our customers, and the e-commerce landscape. Stay tuned for exciting new product news from Sidecar in early December.
Agilence Named To The Top 100 Analytics Startups of 2015
Created on Tuesday, 18 August 2015 13:38
Mattermark notes Agilence as a top 100 Analytics startup for 2015 thanks in part to the success of 20/20™ Data Analytics
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ, August 17, 2015 – Agilence, Inc., the leading provider of cloud-based data analytics reporting solutions for operations and loss prevention, today announced that it was named to the top 100 analytics startups of 2015 according to a new report by Mattermark. Mattermark, a leading source of business information, used metrics such as employee growth, product acceptance rates, and funding events to analyze over one million privately held companies across the U.S.
Agilence’s CEO Russ Hawkins had this to say of the recent acknowledgment: “We are excited to have been named as a top 100 analytics startup for 2015. It’s one thing to have someone think you belong on that list, it’s another to have Mattermark’s data prove it.” Hawkins also added: “We have worked hard to develop the best data analytics application in the world, and the success of 20/20™ is a big reason why we have made the top 100 list.”
Agilence attributes their inclusion on the top 100 analytics startups to the success of their flagship product 20/20™ Data Analytics. In just its second year of release, the SaaS-based reporting solution has been implemented by more than 40 customers including: Famous Footwear, Spencer Gifts, Five-Below, and Uniqlo. 20/20™ is now analyzing over 20 million transactions per day from both physical and ecommerce locations across America.
Derek Rodner, VP of Product Strategy and Development said: “It is really gratifying to hear that Agilence has been listed as a top 100 analytics startup by Mattermark. This news not only proves our value to prospective clients and partners, but it also shows everyone here at Agilence that our hard work is truly paying off.”
Agilence is the industry leader in data analytics and reporting solutions for operations and loss prevention. Agilence develops its cloud based 20/20™ solution for retail, food and beverage, and hospitality markets. 20/20™ is a highly flexible and powerful application that provides organizations with a complete view of their business, empowering them to make informed decisions faster, to increase efficiency and improve profit margins across the enterprise. Agilence, Inc. is headquartered in Mount Laurel, NJ. To learn more about Agilence, please or call 856-366-1200.
Adam J. Creamer
ProctorU Solving Student Identify Fraud
Created on Friday, 19 June 2015 13:59
Flying Under the Radar: Student Identity Fraud in Distance Education
The CEO of ProctorU offers advice on how institutions can manage the increasing threat of identity fraud in the Title IV realm.
Don Kassner is the CEO and president of ProctorU, an authentication service. With over 12 years of experience in higher education, Kassner has a deep understanding of the unique needs of distance education, having served as president of the online Andrew Jackson University from 2005 to 2010.
What if you discovered that more than $187 million of federal student aid had been lost due to elaborate, well-planned identity fraud across the country?
That’s the estimated amount federal aid recipients may have illegally received from 2009 to 2012, according to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General (OIG). It sounds like something that should make front-page news. However, the issue of financial aid fraud largely remains under the radar.
INSIDE A FRAUD RING
Financial aid fraud, sometimes referred to as Title IV fraud, is an elaborate crime. And although the fraud rings often target fully online institutions, traditional institutions offering online degree programs are more and more at risk.
A 2011 OIG report on fraud rings that target distance-education institutions found that a ringleader or associated accomplices secure identifying information from “straw students,” who voluntarily provide their personal information in exchange for some of the funds. The ringleader then applies to online programs and submits financial aid applications using the straw students’ personal information.
A fraud accomplice does the bare minimum needed to show participation in a course in order to qualify for disbursement of funds. After the institution is paid, the straw student receives the remaining balance of the federal aid, which is then split among those who participated in the fraud. The “student” then drops the course or ends up failing, due to lack of participation.
STUDENT IDENTITY MANAGEMENT
Distance education is a target because some institutions fail to confirm student identity at the time of enrollment, financial aid distribution or class attendance. The anonymity of the Internet shields the fraud rings.
In my time as president of an online university and as CEO of the web-based proctoring service ProctorU, I’ve come to understand why institutions may fear shining a spotlight on financial aid fraud and the holes in existing systems and processes. However, we need to break down the illusion of security these fraud rings operate under, ensuring that their crimes do not go unnoticed.
I encourage all institutions, especially those with growing distance and online program offerings, to be proactive in implementing student identity management practices to protect themselves and their students from online and academic fraud.
TECHNOLOGY AS A SOLUTION
Developing a process for securing student identity is not a challenge colleges and universities have to overcome on their own. There are a lot of innovative technologies out there that can help protect against financial aid fraud. Face recognition, fingerprint scanning and keystroke biometric technology might sound like they are straight out of a futuristic movie, but these technologies can actually be easily implemented today.
Students confirm their identity at a traditional brick-and-mortar institution by presenting a form of ID in person. Asking students to do the same in an online course by using a technology-based process is simply extending traditional practices to meet the demands of a growing online marketplace.
In establishing ProctorU’s online student authentication service, Ucard, we applied our blended approach of technology and the human element, making it possible to verify a student’s identity in a matter of minutes. Regardless of how a student’s identity is verified, there is no doubt that student identity management is an extremely effective way to battle financial aid fraud. However, doing this also has larger implications and benefits for distance education.
By confirming the identity of students, institutions can ensure academic credibility for their students, their courses and their degree programs and, hopefully, can put these fraud rings out of business.
Nuts.com Goes Nuts For Sidecar
Created on Thursday, 18 June 2015 14:17
Nuts.com Selects Sidecar to Optimize its Google Shopping Campaigns Through Sidecar's Programmatic Ad TechnologyThe e-commerce brand will leverage Sidecar's data-driven technology to optimize its exposure and revenue in shopping channels.
PHILADELPHIA, June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Sidecar, the leading programmatic solution for product listing ads for retail and e-commerce brands, announced Thursday the addition of Nuts.com to its rapidly expanding client roster.
"We are seeing a lot of promise in product listing advertising, and we were looking for a partner to help us truly maximize our investments in PLA channels," said Anne Swift, chief marketing nut at Nuts.com. "We chose Sidecar because their technology automates previously manual processes, specifically feed optimization and the grouping and bidding of products. We're confident that the Sidecar programmatic technology will allow us to more efficiently display the right products to the right customer at the right time, driving incremental revenue in PLA channels."
Product listing ads are unlike other ad channels in that they're quantitative in nature, with every product in a retailer's catalog representing its own ad unit, all of which need to be evaluated and adjusted continuously. Sidecar's unique algorithm collects and analyzes over one million data points for the average catalog daily, and predictively assigns the right bid to each product in the feed, ensuring that the right ad displays to the right consumer at the right time.
"Sidecar was built specifically to help e-commerce brands gain a competitive advantage in product advertising by applying programmatic technology to both bid management and feed content optimization," said Andre Golsorkhi, CEO and founder of Sidecar. "As product listing ad channels have proven to be the fastest-growing and most efficient revenue growth driver in e-commerce, we're thrilled to bring the Sidecar advantage to Nuts.com."
The signing of Nuts.com is the latest in what's been a momentum-filled 2015 for Sidecar. The company has doubled its employee base since early 2014, and in Q1, saw its management of e-commerce revenue through shopping channels increase 330% YoY.
Sidecar was also named a 2015 Gartner Cool Vendor and last month was awarded a 2015 Enterprise Awardby the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technology.
Sidecar is the only programmatic technology that optimizes product listing ads in Google Shopping, Bing shopping and CSEs. Sidecar leverages a unique algorithm to predictively organize products into Intelligent Product Groupings (IPG) based on performance metrics, and then assigns a precise bid to each group based on performance data and a retailer's unique return goals. Sidecar's Precision Bid Engine continuously evaluates the bids assigned to each IPG, and makes adjustments when needed to ensure the right products receive the right bid at the right time, maximizing exposure and return on ad spend.
Retailers like NewEgg, Fanatics.com and GNC trust Sidecar to optimize their search marketing campaigns.
Lumesis Lands Pershing
Created on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 12:09
Lumesis Announces Strategic Relationship with Pershing LLC
DIVER Advisor Muni Bond Report To Be Integrated Into Pershing’s BondCentral® Platform
We are delighted to be working with an industry leader like Pershing to ensure that their clients have access to the most current information...
Stamford, CT (PRWEB) May 05, 2015
Lumesis, Inc., a leading provider of business efficiency, regulatory compliance and data solutions for the municipal market has announced a new strategic relationship with Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, that will give immediate access to DIVER Advisor’s municipal bond reports and compliance solutions to Pershing clients. The content integration into Pershing’s platform for broker-dealers, wealth managers and advisors will provide these Pershing clients with immediate access to required information for disclosure and ongoing portfolio surveillance.
“We are delighted to be working with an industry leader like Pershing to ensure that their clients have access to the most current information, whether they are providing required information to retail and non-SMMP clients for primary or secondary market trades, or conducting research,” said Gregg L. Bienstock, Esq., CEO and Co-Founder of Lumesis.
DIVER Advisor was developed to help the muni bond industry leverage technology to stay ahead of a changing compliance landscape. “Integration into the Pershing workflow makes research and compliance with time-of-trade, supervision and suitability rules simple and seamless,” said Tim Stevens, CFA, President, COO and Co-Founder of Lumesis.
“We’re pleased to be the first clearing and custody provider to make DIVER Advisor available, at no cost, to our clients. With DIVER Advisor Muni Bond Reports fully integrated into Pershing’s BondCentral workflow, it’s easy for advisors to get the most current muni bond information they need, when they need it,” says John Vrettos, Director of Fixed Income Business Development at Pershing. “In conjunction with other guardrails that come out of the box with Pershing’s platform, advisors and their firms can now incorporate municipal bonds into their practices with increased confidence thanks to DIVER Advisor.”
Lumesis, Inc. is a financial technology company focused on providing business efficiency, data and regulatory solutions to the municipal bond marketplace. Founded in 2010, Lumesis is completely dedicated to serving the municipal market with industry-leading analysis and compliance solutions that meet the needs of an evolving regulatory environment. Today, the company’s DIVER platform helps hundreds of firms with over 40,000 users efficiently meet credit, regulatory and risk needs. Lumesis investors include Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE:SFE) Learn more at
Pershing and its affiliates provide global financial business solutions to advisors, asset managers, broker-dealers, family offices, registered investment advisor firms and wealth managers. A financial services firm located in 23 offices worldwide, Pershing provides business-to-business solutions to clients representing 5.8 million active investor accounts on the U.S. platform. Pershing affiliates are members of every major U.S. securities exchange, and its international affiliates are members of the Deutsche Börse, Australian Stock Exchange, Irish Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange. Pershing LLC (member FINRA/NYSE/SIPC) is a BNY Mellon company. Additional information is available on pershing.com, or follow us on Twitter @Pershing.
About BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of March 31, 2015, BNY Mellon had $28.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.7 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available onhttp://www.bnymellon.com, or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.
Sidecar Introduces Industry Leading Offering
Created on Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:20
NEWS: SIDECAR ADDS INTELLIGENT PRODUCT GROUPINGS TO ENHANCE GOOGLE SHOPPING CAMPAIGN PERFORMANCE
Posted by Marifran Ritchie on Feb 18, 2015 11:50:00 AM
The SaaS firm's latest release changes the Google Shopping game by intelligently grouping products based on key performance metrics, ensuring that every product has the right bid at the right time.
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 18, 2015, Sidecar, the only fully automated technology for grouping and bidding products in Google Shopping campaigns, today announced product enhancements that take precision bidding to the next level. The new release brings Intelligent Product Grouping functionality to the channel; a proprietary feature that groups products based on key performance metrics and product data, continuously adjusting bids to maximize revenue and profitability.
The Sidecar release solves one of the biggest challenges e-commerce marketers face when trying to optimize their Google Shopping campaigns; assigning the right bid to every product at the right time. Currently, most retailers are too resource-constrained to group products beyond Google's default controls, such as brand or category, resulting in wasted ad spend or missed revenue opportunities. Even retailers that group by margin leave opportunities on the table by not considering key product performance metrics in bid strategies.
Sidecar changes that with Intelligent Product Grouping. Working in tandem with Sidecar's existing automated bidding functionality, the new best-in-class technology evaluates every SKU in a retailer's catalog and dynamically groups products based on performance and a retailer's unique business and return goals.
"E-commerce marketers are investing heavily in the Google Shopping channel, but some are seeing plateauing results and are trying to determine how to increase volume and efficiency," said Andre Golsorkhi, founder and CEO of Sidecar. "Google Shopping is a unique channel that requires a shift in the approach from content-driven channels like text advertising. Success in product level advertising has little to do with content, and nearly everything to do with math; calculating the right bid for the right product at the right time. Sidecar was built specifically to solve this challenge, by programmatically leveraging key performance metrics and product data to deliver maximum gains in Google Shopping."
(How is your PLA campaign really performing? Click here for a no-cost effectiveness report of your existing campaign)
The release also features the debut of the Sidecar Dashboard, providing marketers with an intuitive, measurable view of how Sidecar is improving campaign performance in the Google Shopping channel. The dashboard also surfaces valuable data, revealing recent trends and opportunities marketers might not otherwise uncover in their catalog. The Dashboard highlights high and low performing products and brands according to KPIs (click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost/sale), giving marketers more information and context to make merchandising decisions on the site.
Other features include:
Mobile Optimization: Mobile traffic in the channel is an enormous opportunity, and growing. Sidecar automatically optimizes mobile bid adjustments to capture the mobile growth market while still performing to a retailer's specific return goal.
Automated Feed Optimization: Feed content optimization is just one piece of the Google Shopping puzzle, but well-defined titles and descriptions ensure that your customers will find the exact product they're looking for. Sidecar optimizes feed titles with relevant product attributes that increase impressions for maximum campaign impact.
This Sidecar release follows a year of significant growth and innovation for Sidecar. In 2014, it added a bevy of world-class e-commerce brands to its client roster, including Nomorerack, Internet Retailer's 2015 digital marketer of the year, and also raised additional growth capital led by Osage Venture Partners
Media Contact: Marifran Ritchie, 484-680-1213,
Topics: Product level ads, e-commerce, data-driven marketing, PLAs, e-commerce marketing, automated marketing, Google Shopping, mobile e-commerce, programatic marketing
Lumesis Expands With Key Talent
Created on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00
Lumesis, Inc. Announces Two Key Hires
Steve McLaughlin and Stacey Virzi Join Fast-Growing Municipal Market Data and Software Firm
Stamford, CT (PRWEB) January 14, 2015
Lumesis Inc., the municipal market software and data firm delivering business efficiencies and regulatory support, announced that Steve McLaughlin has joined the company as Managing Director of Business Development and Stacey Virzi as Director of Client Services. Both hires bring a wealth of client and industry experience to the fast-growing company and strengthen the breadth and expertise of the team.
“We are delighted to welcome Stacey and Steve to the Lumesis team,” said Gregg L. Bienstock Esq. CEO and Co-Founder of Lumesis. “These two hires are a critical part of our continued growth and will help us serve our expanding client base and bring the DIVER by Lumesis solutions to a wider market.”
Steve McLaughlin has two and a half decades of experience in the municipal bond industry working with muni market buy-side credit analysts, sell-side dealers, regulators, and research analysts. Prior to joining Lumesis, Steve was a managing director and national sales manager at Municipal Market Analytics (MMA) where he was responsible for building the sales and educational platform for MMA’s research, data products, and consulting business. Prior to MMA, Steve was the Lead Fixed Income Portfolio Manager for FCG Advisors LLC. Steve has also served as a Director and Head of Institutional Municipal Bond Distribution at Bank of New York and was an advisory board member of BondView.com which is an independent firm specializing in municipal pricing data and research. “Given my years in the muni marketplace, I understand how beneficial the Lumesis solutions can be from both an analytical and a compliance perspective. Our industry is changing and I am looking forward to helping our clients embrace that change and become more efficient in the process,” said McLaughlin.
“Steve brings the kind of deep market understanding to Lumesis that we need to best meet the needs of the ever-evolving municipal bond market,” said Bienstock.
Stacey Virzi joins Lumesis as an experienced client services executive with deep expertise in financial services and data businesses. She has over 11 years developing and managing a client service department and has experience working with all types and sizes of firms and end users. “Stacey brings a consultative approach to our clients and can help ensure they are leveraging the DIVER platform to its fullest potential while also offering new strategies based on the unique ways clients view the market,” said Bienstock. Most recently, she was the VP of Client Services for CreditRiskMonitor.com. Virzi also has worked in operations and marketing roles and holds A BA from Rutgers University.
"I am pleased to be joining Lumesis at a key point in the growth and development of the company. We have top-tier clients and products and the company continues to innovate around and expand the DIVER solutions to better serve the municipal bond marketplace. I look forward to continuing to build out a world class service and support organization to address the needs of all of our subscription and solution clients," said Virzi.
About Lumesis Inc.
Founded in 2010, Lumesis, Inc. is a financial technology company focused on providing business efficiency, data and regulatory solutions for the Municipal marketplace under the DIVER brand. Providing access to hundreds of datasets, DIVER solutions are tailored to address the unique needs of the municipal bond market.