Tag management is not, perhaps, the sexiest problem for a startup to tackle, but Tealium seems to have turned it into a successful business, as indicated by the ever-growing funding rounds that it raises every year like clockwork. And yes, it’s announcing the latest of those rounds today — a $30.7 million Series D led by Georgian Partners.
For those of you who don’t know, tag management means helping websites implement the tags that they use to gather data — for example placing cookies for ad targeting. That’s pretty important on its own, but CEO Jeff Lunsford told me that the broader vision is to build a “real-time data platform” on top.
After all, Lunsford told me that the average Tealium customer is trying to integrate its data with more than 20 different systems, ranging from email marketing to banner ad networks to content management systems. Bringing data into those systems leads to more personalized messaging, but often requires a lag of 24 hours or more.
In contrast, Lunsford said that with Tealium’s AudienceStream product, marketers can get that data in real time.
“I have a 21-year-old daughter, and if you try to target her what she was interested in 24 hours ago, forget about it,” he said. “You need to target her based on what she’s interested in [while she’s still in the same session]. We’re trying to streamline this data supply chain to help our customers go from batch file transfers to real time.”
About 50 of Tealium’s 500+ customers are currently using AudienceStream, Lunsford said. Looking ahead, he’s planning to expand internationally and to move beyond marketing, because he said “there’s a lot of apps besides marketing apps” that could use this data.
He also emphasized that as Tealium expands, it’s also trying to keep a neutral approach: “We’re not trying to be a personalization vendor. We’re trying to be that standard neutral data layer that everyone feeds off of.”
The company says its organic sales grew 138 percent last year.
The new funding included “a major investment” from Bain Capital, with participation from previous investors Battery Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Presidio Ventures.