Intelligent Marketing on the stock exchange

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This article was originally featured on the Danish Marketing Association’s news site on January 29th, 2018.

Read the original article (in Danish) here.

By Christian W. Larsen

At the end of March, Agillic will be listed on Nasdaq’s First North stock exchange in order to raise DKK 37 million. This money will be used to further improve the Marketing Automation Platform with even more artificial intelligence, and to conquer new markets. This is how the money will be spent.

Agillic feels that Marketing Automation, together with the correct artificial intelligence, is the future of marketing, and it costs a lot of money to deliver this.

Fulfilling these ambitions is the reason that this “software as a service” company will be listed on Nasdaq’s First North stock exchange at the end of March, in an attempt to raise DKK 37 million.

“We wish to assist companies in making the transition from traditional marketing, and to deliver more relevant communication,” says Rasmus Houlind, Chief Strategy Officer at Agillic.

“Consumers need to feel that they’re buying into something valuable, rather than feeling that they’re being sold a product.”

“This is possible via personalised messages that are timed and adapted towards each individual customer. This occurs via their mobile phones, laptops, apps, social media, in the physical store, or even via a physical letter.”

Jesper Valentin, CEO, continues: “It is expensive to integrate this artificial intelligence seamlessly into the functioning automation platform, and this is partly how we will be using the DKK 37 million.”

Why precisely DKK 37 million? Why not, for example, DKK 50 or 100 million?

“Because DKK 37 million will allow us to achieve the goals that exist in our business plan. Furthermore, beyond strengthening the development of our services, we also need to expand into Great Britain. This is the market with the greatest potential, and this is exactly where we will be expanding within the next few years.”

Why not “just” add more capital via venture or investment funds?

“We have determined that it would not be advantageous for Agillic to relinquish control to e.g. a V.C. at the present time. The current management and ownership team is extremely motivated to continue the delicate development that Agillic has undergone in the past 3-4 years. This is why we feel that raising capital via a listing on the stock exchange is the best solution for the company.”

“No one is cashing in, all the owners have faith in the company’s new direction, and this ought to be the best message we can send to the market. When we all have hands on deck we come across as more credible.”

From nerds to suppliers of intelligent communication

The key word here is credibility, given that Agillic was previously a tiny company. The company was founded in 1999 and, up until 2001, it comprised an agency with an associated consultancy business.

Later on, the company shifted its focus and began to develop the software that would later become the cornerstone of the Agillic that we know today.

In 2005, the majority of Agillic was taken over by two capital funds, the English Amadeus and Sunstone. The product was visionary and, from the very start, the omnichannel perspective was integrated into the platform.

During that period, a 9-figure sum was invested in the development of the product; however, this product was somewhat ahead of its time, and the market development could not keep up with the company’s ambitions. However, four years ago, new investors Dico A/S and New Deal Group A/S entered the picture, allowing the company to be restructured and new management employed.

Besides Jesper Valentin and Rasmus Houlind, this new management includes the new COO Bo Sannung, who was previously employed at SAS Institute. Additionally, with the money raised from its listing on the stock exchange, Agillic will go head-to-head with large and powerful rivals such as Salesforce and Adobe, who also provide marketing software.

“If we had to list the benefits we offer in relation to the competition, it would be the fact that we have developed our software from the ground up, with a central focus on our customers from the very start,” says Jesper Valentin.

“Conversely, a lot of our competition has patched their platform together via solution acquisitions that each service one channel. This makes omnichannel and customer-centric communication rather difficult and integration-intensive.”

“Once a company has purchased a license from us, they receive a link and a password and immediately have direct access to all of our cloud services. The services can be used immediately, whereas many hours of expensive consultancy are often required in order to use our competitors’ services.”

One of Agillic’s larger customers, SPORTSMASTER, is especially satisfied with the results that they have achieved since making the change from Salesforce to Agillic.

“We have seen significant improvements since we started using the Agillic platform. During certain periods, up to 40 % of the turnover comes from these new communication tools, and because the consumers are now increasingly making both online and offline purchases, we have experienced a growth in value of up to 40-45 % per customer for these omnichannel customers.”

When we base the timing and content of our communication on customer data, we also experience a two-to-threefold increase in the opening rate and conversion rate of our transmitted messages,” concludes Stefan Kirkedal, SPORTMASTER’s Head of Omnichannel Development and Customer Insights.

Interested parties can follow Agillic’s updates regarding its stock exchange listing here.