Maryland SaaS company Collage Group just raised $25 million in growth capital, the company announced Wednesday.
The round was led by Wavecrest Growth Partners, based in Boston, Massachusetts, with additional participation from Dennis Ainge. A statement from the company said that the funds would be used for marketing and sales, as well as a renewed focus on its data science and tech platform.
The platform, which was previously known as the Latinum Network, is a software product that offers marketing data and cultural intelligence for companies. The 60-person company, which was originally founded in 2009 with a focus on marketing geared at Latinx consumers, offers data from its Cultural Intelligence Platform product in categories like race, ethnicity, generation, LGBTQ+, identity and gender, as well as parents and kids.
“If you’re a consumer company, a consumer brand, regardless of the industry: As long as you’re marketing to consumers in this country, it is imperative to win the hearts and minds of diverse America for the business to work and to grow,” Collage CEO and cofounder David Wellisch told Technical.ly.
With its data product, the company measures the behaviors of the categories listed above, why they’re choosing certain products, what they’re buying and more. It also completes ad testing to see what resonates with consumers and ranks a company’s effectiveness within the marketplace. It largely collects data through online surveys at scale.
With its platform, the company said that users can engage and connect with underrepresented consumers and clients across the country. Brands can use it to create ads that will better resonate with consumers and, potentially, avoid backlash.
According to Collage, this is the first time it’s received institutional funding in its nearly 15 years of life. Over its lifetime, its most prominent investments, which it said helped the company grow by over 50% over the past three years, were generated internally from private investors.
With the funding, Wellisch said he hopes to further develop its technology to make the platform more user-friendly and better use the data it collects. That means the company will be looking to expand its engineering, data science and product management teams, likely growing to 75-80 employees by the end of the year.
Before creating Collage, Wellisch was the founder, VP and general manager of AOL Latino, which was the service for Latinx users of AOL. He was also the executive director of strategy for the internet giant’s web properties.
As the company moves forward, though, he’s really hoping to scale the business as much as possible.
“We want to just continue to grow and be able to impact every consumer brand in their journey to become culturally fluent and to attract, resonate and market to diverse consumers,” Wellisch said.-30-