Last week, Piano Software, Inc., a content monetization platform for digital media companies, announced it has raised $22 million in Series B funding. The funding round was led by Updata Partners, an investment firm that provides growth capital to software and software-enabled companies. The infusion of capital will be used to support Piano’s growth, specifically in research and development and client services and to expand into new markets. It may also be used for acquisitions, said Piano in a January 10 blog post.
“This funding will allow us to continue to serve our growing client base by enhancing our products and services, helping content businesses build dedicated audiences and grow their profitability,” said Piano CEO Trevor Kaufman.
“Our platform gives content companies a 360-degree view of their audience, and uses that data to drive the optimal messages, experiences and offers. Our goal is to help every website grow their loyal user base, and to turn those users into retained, paying customers,” Kaufman added.
The Piano platform includes a suite of business tools for use by publishers and other digital media companies. The tools include Piano VX, a subscription commerce engine for paid content models; Piano Composer, a customer experience toolkit to drive user behavior; and Piano ID, a user ID management system to mine data, create targeted list and create personalized experiences.
“We’ve build tools that make it easy for great media companies to market, sell and fulfill their content across any channel their audience wants. Our tools give business users control over the complete experience, from targeting the right segments through creating incentives for users to register and pay to retaining those customers and minimizing churn – without going to the IT team again,” said Piano on their About Us page.
Piano was founded by Steven Brill in 2010 and has been known under several other names including Tinypass, Piano Media and Piano, but its legal name is Piano Software, according to Crunchbase. Based in New York, Piano now has about 180 employees in seven offices, including offices in Philadelphia, London, Bratislava, Izhevsk, Kazan and Rio de Janeiro.
According to last week’s blog post, Piano has doubled its client base over the last year, adding more than 50 enterprise clients to its roster including Hearst and The Daily Beast. With more than 1,000 media companies as clients, Piano serves media brands including The Economist, Bloomberg, AdAge, Digiday, CNBC, Esquire, Time Inc., Conde Nast, Business Insider, The Independent, Le Parisien, Adobe Primetime, Gigya, among others.
Jon Seeber, general partner of Updata Partners, commented on the company’s investment.
“Piano’s platform enables traditional content companies and digital-first entrants to succeed in a changing customer landscape by driving subscription and other revenue streams from their audiences,” said Seeber.
“We’re excited to partner with Trevor and the rest of the Piano team to continue their leadership as the subscription and audience management platform for content businesses. As Piano enters its next phase of growth, we look forward to supporting the team as they expand the solution within media, and beyond,” added Seeber.
Piano has an impressive client list and a diverse set of tools designed to support paid content businesses, including those utilizing a subscription model. Receiving such a huge infusion of cash is a big boon for Piano, showing that Updata Partners sees real potential for significant growth in the coming years. This is huge news for Piano and for digital media companies looking for monetization and engagement solutions.
If any of this capital is used for acquisitions, as the blog post suggests, it will be interesting to see what types of companies Piano is interested in buying. They would most likely be complementary businesses or those with a client base Piano wants access to. This should be a very exciting year for Piano!