Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's venture capital fund is part of a $3 million investment in a very young data startup. Israel-based Datorama just brought on a sales team a few weeks ago, but things appear to be moving at a rapid pace. The company has signed 14 paying clients in around four months.
Datorama offers a cross-media marketing data integration technology for TV, social, video, search, CRM data, and even print. The promise of cross-media or "omni-channel" marketing platforms has been made time and time again by countless companies claiming to have systems that allow marketers to integrate data, track campaigns and measure them seamlessly across various channels.
Whether anybody's really attained this holy grail is arguable. However, Schmidt's fund, Innovation Endeavors, may have gotten involved because of the firm's ability to attract clients in such a brief period, suggested Datorama CEO and co-founder Ran Sarig.
"That was the best proof," he said, noting that he could not name any of the clients.
The startup's ad tech pedigree probably doesn't hurt. Mr. Sarig and Co-founder and CTO Efi Cohen were VP-research and development and VP-technology at ad management firm MediaMind, respectively. Co-founder and Chief Solutions Officer Katrin Ribant hails from Havas digital. There, she developed the agency's data analytics platform as exec VP of its global big-data analytics unit. Datorama has about 10 people on staff.
In addition to the $3 million A round from Mr. Schmidt's private Innovation Endeavors fund and Cedar Fund, Datorama earlier raised $750,000 in seed funding. Cedar Fund, which has offices in Israel, contributed to the $3 million round, said Doron Alter, an investment partner with Innovation Endeavors.
Innovation Endeavors is particularly focused on supporting firms based in Silicon Valley and Israel, said Mr. Alter. "We see ourselves as sort of a bridge between the U.S. and Israel," he said.
The fund has invested in the popular on-demand private cab service Uber, and BillGuard, which makes a mobile app that tracks credit card spending and identifies unauthorized charges. BillGuard was the Big-Data Startup of the Year at O'Reilly Media's 2011 Strata Conference, a must-attend event for data geeks.
The fund invests in 13 companies based in Israel and 50 overall, according to Mr. Alter.
Marketers want to enable data management, campaign delivery and measurement in one platform, but in reality a true cross-channel experience remains elusive. That's one of the things that Omnicom and Publicis likely will need to enable in order to achieve the media-buying and campaign efficiencies they suggest will be possible as a result of their recent merger.
Is Innovation Endeavors expecting Datorama will be acquired? "One day, maybe," said Mr. Alter. "But it's a bit early so we want them to grow and become a big company."