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AnyRoad, an “experience relationship management” platform that helps brands create, manage, and measure customer experiences, has raised $10 million in a fresh round of funding.
Experience relationship management (ERM) is a term AnyRoad cofounder and CEO Jonathan Yaffe coined in conjunction with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who invested in AnyRoad as part of its seed round back in 2017. ERM could once be described as something akin to CRM for the real world, helping businesses measure how users are perceiving their brand and tracking shifts in buying behavior. However, in a year marked by a rapid shift away from physical world experiences, AnyRoad had to take a more holistic approach and quickly rolled out a new product last year to help marketers plan and monitor the impact of online and hybrid events.
This shift was reflected in the broader events space, which also had to rapidly embrace the digital world, leading to a huge spike in demand for virtual events’ software.
“We believe that as the world shifts from a things economy to an experience economy, the most category-defining brands are using experiential programs to build and deepen relationships with their customers,” Yaffe told VentureBeat. “These experiences are offline, online, or hybrid — we support everything from in-person events to online experiences, in-store brand activations, global field marketing, and more.”
Founded out of San Francisco in 2014, AnyRoad today counts numerous high-profile customers, including Nestlé, Honda, Dick’s, Diageo, and Budweiser, with most of the company’s growth coming from “large Fortune 2000 consumer brands” that are striving to develop experiences to build a community and encourage brand loyalty.
“Right now we have over 200 customers, which predominantly sit in three focus industries — CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands; retail brands; and automotive brands,” Yaffe said.
In real terms, ERM is concerned with capturing data and helping companies manage customer experiences “at scale,” according to Yaffe, tracking every touchpoint a brand has with both existing and potential customers. The “experience” can be anything really, such as a real-world brand museum tour or an online masterclass in dog training operated by a major pet food brand.
AnyRoad’s experience event manager can be used to manage bookings and garner post-event feedback.
AnyRoad also offers a dedicated marketplace product that brands can use to connect with consumers to, for example, operate online classes that are aligned with the company’s products.
Straddling all of this is Atlas, a data and insights platform brands can use to integrate and analyze all their experience-based data, allowing them to delve into customer sentiment and understand how people perceive the company. AnyRoad also integrates with myriad third-party enterprise tools, including Salesforce, SAP, Tableau, and Snowflake.
According to Yaffe, Budweiser uses AnyRoad to engage with consumers through events and brewery tours. “They run these experiences as a form of marketing to create community and brand loyalty,” he said. “We enable them to not only power these experiences at scale, but also to understand exactly who is participating and how the experiences are changing consumers’ perspective and consumption habits.”
State of play
AnyRoad intersects with several related technologies in the market, and it’s worth noting the similarities with existing customer experience management tools, such as Qualtrics and Medallia, both of which are billion-dollar publicly traded companies. However, AnyRoad is setting out to differentiate itself by offering an “integrated suite of products,” spanning data capture, event management, feedback/customer experience, and customer data.
“We are building the next generation of customer experience software,” Yaffe said. “Experiences previously had a data problem — brands knew very little about who was participating in experiences. Disparate, siloed experiential data made analysis difficult, expensive, slow. There was limited ROI with no actionable insights. AnyRoad changes that.”
AnyRoad had previously raised around $9 million, and with its latest round of funding — co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Runa Capital — the company said it plans to invest heavily in research and development and go-to-market efforts.
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