Zeta Global, a company that specializes in marketing automation software, now has $140 million in new funding, including $25 million in debt financing, with which it plans to fund expansion.
The company, co-founded by former Apple CEO and Pepsi-Cola president John Sculley and entrepreneur David Steinberg, was partially built on the acquisition of nine companies, and it's "highly probable we'll buy a tenth," Steinberg told Fortune.
Marketing executives—and increasingly people across companies—use marketing software to identify likely prospects, craft messages to reach those people, and then track the results. The segment is growing fast, which is why tech companies like Adobe Systems (adbe), Oracle (orcl), and Salesforce (crm) are adding marketing capabilities via internal development, acquisition, or both.
Zeta Global's F Series funding round comes from Global Partnership Investing and Franklin Square Capital Partners Funds, among others, and brings total funding to more than $250 million, including a $126 million round two years ago. The company claimed $300 million in revenue last year.
Steinberg acknowledged that Zeta Global is not a household name. "As my partner John Sculley is fond of saying, we're the largest tech company you've never heard of," he quipped.
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As for Zeta's comparative anonymity, Steinberg says it spends far less on marketing itself than the other contenders, but it claims big name customers including American Airlines (aal), British Airways, the NFL, and AIG (aig).
The company boasts a proprietary database of 350 million active people and focuses on processing that data very fast—most transactions have a response time of under three milliseconds. The company, like many, relies heavily on machine learning, a set of technologies that allows software to detect patterns in masses of data and use those patterns to fuel actions.
New York-based Zeta Global employs about 1,200 people and fields regional offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, and London.