Investing in the future
Much research and development has gone to analyzing human language and messages, from voice recognition software like Siri to supercomputers analyzing text to determine the writer's attitude and tone. While this has many applications in many fields, one stands out in particular: Marketing.
With this in mind, it seems that Goldman Sachs is making a bigger push towards developing tech and software for marketing, with a $30 million dollar investment in "cognitive content," or automated copywriting.
A Series C round for software company Persado was led by Goldman Sachs and includes all of Persado’s previous investors: Bain Capital Ventures, StarVest Ventures, American Express Ventures, and Citi Ventures. It increases the New York-based company’s outside funding to $66 million since its creation.
Persado is a software company that spun out of a larger mobile marketing firm, Upstream Systems, in 2012. It develops artificial intelligence and machine algorithms that craft the perfect marketing message.
The software is used by 80 global brands including financial services firms Citi and AmEx as well as software giant Microsoft and retailers Neiman Marcus and Sears. The software fine tunes email campaigns, Facebook messages, websites, display ads, and text messages.
More than simple marketing
In its infancy, Persado's software was used to optimize messages fed to it by marketers. Now, it can craft messages, thanks to a massive database of 1 million words and phrases that marketers use in their copy, which are already scored based on sentiment analysis.
The software can create a message, optimize its language, and then translate that message into any of 23 languages, according to its creators.
While the software is definitely focused on the marketing side, Persado is by no means limited to marketing. Persado CEO and co-founder Alex Vratskides says his company’s technology could be used for other applications such as encouraging people to exercise, getting people to vote, or helping recruiters create eye-catching job ads.