Yeti attacks 3 more competitors in court for ‘confusingly similar’ products

Yeti Coolers LLC is trying to freeze out more competitors that it accuses of copying its design.
The Austin-based maker of coolers and drink containers has sued three more companies over "confusingly similar" tumblers, which are large, insulated cups: RELYMedia of Minnesota and CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel of Georgia.
The latest lawsuits follow similar legal action by Yeti against at least six other companies, the Austin-American Statesman reports. Among them was Axis Cups, which shut down earlier…

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How an Austin wealth management firm grew to $620M in assets in its first two years

After leaving behind lucrative careers at Merrill Lynch, the founding partners of Venturi Wealth Management have created a model for how to compete with the giants of the industry. Today they manage $620 million, were recently honored by the Financial Times and they’re eager to buy up other firms to grow.

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Urban Land Institute searches for new leader as Steinwedell tackles one of Austin’s thorniest issues

When ​David Steinwedell joined ULI Austin in late 2013, it was a bit of a surprise pick after he had spent years in executive roles atop the world of finance. But Steinwedell said he wanted to give back to the community — a mission he will continue with a new investment group focused on affordable housing. The plan is to pour $500 million into a fund that will yield affordable housing for working families in Austin.

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First Look: Acquired.io Guts The Grunt Work out of User Acquisition

The founders of mobile marketing company AppScotch, acquired by AppAnnie, today launched their newest venture, Acquired.io.

“The company has created the first centralized platform to manage user acquisition across dozens of channels like Snapchat, AdColony, Chartboost, and others,” the official word reads. “Initial customers include IGG, the company behind Lords Mobile, and TextNow, the popular messaging app.”

Acquired.io has raised $2 million in funding from investors, many in the mobile gaming space.

Notable names include Jonathan Zweig, founder of AdColony (acquired by Opera), and John Zdanowski, former CFO of Linden Lab, the company behind Second Life.

Most user acquisition teams spend approximately half their ad budget on Google and Facebook and the other half on dozens of smaller channels, which must be managed individually, making the process time consuming and laborious. Acquired.io has found that the average UA team spends 80% of their time on this manual grunt work. And the problem is only getting larger – the number of channels grew from 700 in 2015 to 1,500 this year.

We’re told that Acquired.io is the first system that allows UA teams to manage all of these channels from a single place. The platform currently supports 20 channels, which will increase to 50 by the end of this year. In addition to more efficient management, the platform also enables UA teams to easily discover and test new channels without having to go through a costly new set up process. Identifying high performing smaller channels is especially important for UA teams as Google and Facebook become increasingly competitive.

“The sheer number of apps out there today makes it difficult for companies to get noticed. To be able to compete, advertisers need to maintain a wide and diverse portfolio of channels to acquire users, which puts enormous pressure on UA teams,” said Andrey Kazakov, co-founder and CEO of Acquired.io. “Most advertisers have a portfolio of channels they deal with which spans from 10 to 50 channels depending on the company. Constantly discovering ways to acquire users is a part of the day to day job for UA teams, adding even more manual operations to their daily work. Our goal is to minimize the unnecessary manual work they face every day.”

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Cannes Lions: PreVUE Answers the Call for Verification

At the center of Cannes Lions is the conversation around third party verification, says the team at DashBid.

According to a company email sent to MMW on Monday, this is, by far, the most important topic in the digital advertising industry.

“Advertisers are rightfully demanding adherence and publishers are left with the insurmountable task of multi-party data vendor management in order to deliver audience to advertisers,” DashBid says. “Failure to satisfy results in clawbacks, make goods and destroyed trust and brand.”

As a result, DashBid has just announced PreVUE — a “first of its type solution”. The solution offers a publisher, SSP or exchange a single point of integration to access all the various data and output required for audience verification.

Publishers who partner with PreVUE can use their existing data relationships as well as gain immediate access to new relationships including fraud detection, NHT, viewability, demo, geo, and IAB site categorization. We take care of the integrations and manage the anomalies for you.

We’re told that PreVUE manages the validation of each avail across all data categories and frees the publisher of the cost, effort and challenges of vendor management.

“PreVUE is a product we were able to use as a beta customer.  Technical integration was simple and the results were beyond expectations,” said Rolan Reichel, CEO and Founder of RLLCLL.  “We saw huge improvements in fill rates and CPMs as well as reduced operating costs almost immediately. Any publisher, SSP or exchange can’t expect to perform in this market without PreVUE.”

DashBid is currently considering direct publishers, SSPs and exchanges for PreVUE during its advanced beta launch. PreVUE is expected to be available publicly in early Q4 of this year.

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IRI Partners with Jumpshot to Enhance Suite of E-Commerce Solutions

This week, IRI and Jumpshot announced a strategic partnership in which Jumpshot’s web traffic data will be added to the IRI E-commerce Solutions Suite.

If you’re not familiar, we’re told that Jumpshot tracks more than 160 billion monthly clicks, helping marketers understand consumers’ online activity.

With the addition of Jumpshot’s data, IRI’s E-commerce Solutions Suite will offer clients a deeper understanding of consumers’ online activity and access to more in-depth and precise analyses and insights at the domain, brand and product levels.

What’s more, the announcement confirms that this partnership will triple the amount of data in the IRI E-Commerce Solutions Suite, adding an additional layer of granularity and enabling more personalized, targeted insights for IRI clients.

“In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever to understand consumer behavior on e-commerce platforms,” said Robert I. Tomei, president of Consumer and Shopper Marketing, Core Content and Insight Services for IRI. “The addition of Jumpshot’s dataset into our comprehensive e-commerce solution provides additional perspective into the consumer’s actual e-commerce transactions, online shopper journey and the elements that influence purchase behavior. We look forward to continuing to grow our base in e-commerce services, and will persist with investing in products that best support clients’ needs.”

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Mobile Tech on the Move: IDC Sees Q1 Spike in Wearables

The worldwide wearables market maintained its upward trajectory during the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17) with Xiaomi and Apple leading all companies and multiple products experiencing double – and triple-digit growth.

That’s the official announcement from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker indicates that companies shipped a total of 24.7 million wearable devices during 1Q17, up 17.9% from the 20.9 million units shipped in 1Q16.

“Fitbit finds itself in the midst of a transformation as user tastes evolve from fitness bands to watches and other products,” noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “This allowed Xiaomi to throttle up on its inexpensive devices within the China market and for Apple to leverage its position as the leading smartwatch provider worldwide. Now that Xiaomi and Apple have supplanted Fitbit, the next question is whether they will be able to maintain their position.

“However, by no means should Fitbit be removed from the wearables conversation,” continued Llamas. “With a user base of 50 million, a strong presence within corporate wellness, and assets that keep it top of mind for digital health, Fitbit is well positioned to move into new segments and markets.”

“The market is arguably still in the first phase of development, where companies are focused on seeding wearables into the market,” said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “It’s all about getting people accustomed to the idea of wearing a device. And the opportunity remains very enticing for traditional and fashion watch brands as the scale of the consumer electronics market far surpasses their world.

“The second phase of development will be all about putting user data to good use,” continued Ubrani. “This is when step counts translate into healthier hearts and minds. And it’s also when we will start to see devices that actually augment our abilities and make our lives easier or more productive rather than just being another screen we keep an eye on.”

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aggity, RedPoint Global Aim to Deliver Personalized, Cross-Channel Campaigns

MMW learned today that RedPoint Global, a provider of data management and customer engagement technology, has just announced a strategic partnership with global consulting firm aggity to deliver intelligent cross-channel campaigns.

The targeted area, we’re told, spans Mexico, Spain, and Portugal.

“The partnership will meet the growing marketing technology needs of the respective markets,” the firm tells us.

As part of their agreement, aggity will provide customer engagement services using the RedPoint Customer Engagement Hub solution, which combines the power of RedPoint’s market-leading customer data platform to create rich, dynamic unified customer profiles with its real-time customer interaction platform that intelligently optimizes customer engagement across all touchpoints and enterprise business functions.

In short, with RedPoint, enterprises have a hub for connecting all their customer data, driving real-time decisions and intelligently orchestrating engagement with their customers.

“Enterprises are increasingly looking to optimize customer engagement across all touchpoints and enterprise business functions, and RedPoint’s leading Customer Enagement Hub more than meets this need,” said aggity President and CEO Oscar Pierre. “Our clients are always looking for the best technologies, and partnering with a customer engagement technology leader like RedPoint will help us deliver on our promise to provide exceptional cross-channel marketing services.”

To learn more, check out aggity here and RedPoint here.

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Artificial Intelligence Startup SparkCognition Closes on $32.5 Million

Austin-based SparkCognition, a startup focused on artificial intelligence, announced Monday that it has closed on $32.5 million in funding. Verizon Ventures led the Series B funding round with participating from The Boeing Company, through its Boeing HorizonX unit. “SparkCognition has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence to bring unparalleled advancements to many of the world’s […]

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HomeAway to Expand to a new 16-Story Office Tower in The Domain

Austin-based HomeAway announced it has signed a lease to occupy a new 16 story office tower in The Domain in the first quarter of 2019. The vacation rentals company reports the new 315,000 square foot location will be able to accommodate more than 2,000 employees. “As a global company headquartered in Austin and as the […]

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