Mariana raises $2 mln in seed funding


Mariana, a Palo Alto, California-based marketing startup, raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Bruce Taragin, managing director of Blumberg Capital, with participation from angel investors including Gokul Rajaram, Gerri Elliott and Semil Shah. Mariana also announced the launch of its targeted B2B demand generation platform.

PRESS RELEASE

Palo Alto, Calif. – March 1, 2016 – Mariana, the revolutionary targeted B2B demand generation platform that leverages Deep Learning, launched today and announced it has obtained $2 million in funding. The seed round was led by Managing Director Bruce Taragin of Blumberg Capital with participation from angel investors including Gokul Rajaram, Gerri Elliott and Semil Shah. Mariana is currently raising a second round and has secured large commitments.

Outdated Catch-as-Catch-Can Marketing

Traditionally, B2B marketing has used a catch-as-catch-can approach to fill the funnel. Content reaches a large number of individuals with a broad message and marketers hope that interested parties respond. As a result, only 1 in 4 respondents are qualified to pass to sales, and 95% of these leads do not convert. This mass marketing method is inefficient and costly. Founded by Silicon Valley marketers and Artificial Intelligence experts, Abhishek Kashyap, Soumyadeb Mitra and Venkat Nagaswamy, Mariana solves this issue by finding the buyer first, and then identifying the right personalized marketing.

A New Marketing, Fueled by Artificial Intelligence

This new approach of finding the buyer first and then identifying the right personalized marketing is based on automatic buyer persona creation. Traditional approaches to developing personas are manual, time consuming and expensive. At the same time, there are tremendous volumes of unstructured data about companies and individuals online to navigate. Mariana uses Deep Learning in this first of its kind application to automatically process the unstructured data and form buyer personas. The neural network is designed to automate the way human, marketing brains learn and make decisions. These personas not only reflect the demographics, psychographics and needs of the buyers, they also produce actionable marketing activities. Mariana uses these personas to identify the prospects in net new accounts and hyper target them on all marketing channels including Facebook promoted posts and Twitter. This combination of persona-based and account-based marketing results in zero waste targeting and can be done in minutes of marketer’s time.

“We are making marketers stars. We allow them to do something they have always wanted to do: a combination of account-based and persona based marketing. Made possible by Deep Learning, we help marketers find the right buyers and influencers in the right companies, target them with the right content, using the right channels at the right time necessary to convert leads,” said Venkat Nagaswamy, CEO and co-founder of Mariana. “Using Mariana, businesses can enjoy 10 times more ROI than other solutions – increasing the speed of the sales cycle and drastically improving conversion rates.”

“There are other platforms that purport to do ABM. But they are mostly reporting and really not that useful. Mariana is the only platform that allows me to generate leads for a target account list,” said Kevin White, Director of Marketing Ops for MemSQL. “Mariana lets me do this without me having to worry about audiences and the like.”

“Mariana’s personas are a game changer. We have a large number of names in our marketing database but are limited as we had only titles which did not properly reflect personas,” said Krishnan Natarajan. Sr. Director, Demand Generation, WhiteHat Security. “With Mariana we can classify these leads into specific personas and then run personalized campaigns that we never could do before. This is a must-have for all B2B marketing professionals looking to ensure they provide relevant and appropriate information to the right contacts.”

Making Complex Marketing Uncomplicated and Straightforward

Mariana offers customers two product offerings – ProspectIQ and ConversionIQ. Via Mariana’s Deep Learning system, ProspectIQ analyzes a client’s existing customer database against up to 50K real-time data points to identify net new accounts for the business. Additionally, Mariana provides individual identities of prospective buyers and influencers within these accounts based on customer personas. This identification, in addition to Deep Learning, is made possible through big data and Mariana’s access as the only targeted B2B demand generation platform to Twitter’s full social graph. Mariana can, then, hyper target those specific individual on high-interaction channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Mariana clients have found 10x the increase in new prospects and at half the cost of competing approaches.

ConversionIQ cleans lead lists, reducing unqualified leads and costs by up to 75%, and augmenting the remaining leads with persona and buying information that allows marketers to run personalized nurture campaigns. Mariana’s clients have seen 2-3x improvements in conversion rates due to running personalized campaigns through ConversionIQ.

Mariana is ideal and accessible for all industries in the B2B space. Companies already benefiting from the results of this new form of marketing are Fuze, MemSQL, Egnyte, WhiteHat Security and two additional brands. Ten companies including Appboy, Workspot, Big Switch Networks, Message Media are currently in the pilot phase.

About Mariana

Mariana is the targeted B2B demand generation platform that leverages Deep Learning to find and convert existing and new prospects. Started in 2013, Mariana changes how marketing is typically done by focusing on finding the right buyers and then finding the right marketing: right content through the right channel at the right time. At a fraction of the traditional time and cost, Mariana equips marketers with easy-to-use game-changing tools to make them even more effective. Mariana is used by global brands including Fuze, MemSQL, Egnyte and WhiteHat Security. Founded by Abhishek Kashyap, Soumyadeb Mitra and Venkat Nagaswamy, Mariana is based in Palo Alto. For more information, visit Mariana on the web, Twitter and Facebook.