Codeless campaign creation platform Knak raises $25M

Knak, an Ottawa, Canada-based startup that offers a campaign creation platform for marketing teams, today announced it has raised $25 million in a series A round of funding led by Insight Partners. The company said it plans to use the fresh capital to strengthen its team, establish a channel program, and expand its platform capabilities. It also aims to deploy a portion of the funds to increase industry awareness about the product.

Today, enterprise marketing teams around the world use marketing automation platforms (MAPs) such as Adobe Marketo Engage, Oracle Eloqua, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Acoustic to plan, execute, manage, and measure their campaigns. The solutions are pretty good, but they do require teams to code emails and landing pages in HTML for the campaigns, which is quite a task in itself. As a result, the enterprises end up often spending days or tens of thousands of dollars on third-party agencies just to have well-designed emails and landing pages fed into their MAPs.

Codeless campaign creation with Knak

Founded in 2015 by Pierce Ujjainwalla, Brendan Farnand, and Patrick Proulx, Knak solves this challenge with its modular-based drag and drop builder. The SaaS platform integrates with top marketing automation platforms, including those mentioned above, and allows teams to create well-rendered emails and landing pages without typing a single line of code or relying on rigid templates and outside help.

Knak claims that its solution has the potential to let teams send out their email and landing pages in a matter of minutes, and can scale as and when required. The tool has already been adopted by the marketing teams at hundreds of companies, including those at giants such as Google, Citrix, Roche, DISH Network, Slack, Purestorage, Foursquare, and Databricks.

“Our digital campaign demands continue to grow, but finding the team, time, and budget to manage coding headaches felt like a difficult task before we found Knak,” Elizabeth Dobbs, senior director of marketing at Databricks, said in a statement. “Trying to ensure everything worked seamlessly with our marketing automation platform and rendered flawlessly across all screens was slow and costly. We can (now) get new campaigns up and running in hours instead of days or weeks while ensuring brand consistency across our global, decentralized teams.”

In addition to the easy creation of emails and landing pages, Knak also allows seamless collaboration on the campaigns. Managers in large decentralized marketing teams can review and flag issues on the platform in real-time (much like Google Docs), without requiring subordinates to send test emails or PDFs for feedback. Plus, they can even optimize the whole campaign using the company’s proprietary technology that shows whether the email or landing page has all essential elements — like preview text, subject lines, and links — or not.

“Not to mention, when you build assets in a MAP, they’re proprietary to that MAP and won’t work in other platforms. Knak’s assets are platform-agnostic. Once you create them, you can use them on any platform you want. That gives marketers a lot of control,” Ujjainwalla told VentureBeat.

Plan ahead

While the CEO didn’t detail the exact development plans for the product, he did note that the focus would be on putting creative control back in the hands of marketers, giving them more and more power over how they create their campaign assets and how quickly they can get them to market.

“With the support of Insight Partners, I’m confident Knak has the capital, operating guidance, and connections needed to successfully scale our business and meet the growing market demand,” he said.

According to Statista, the global marketing automation software market could grow at a CAGR of 19.2% between 2020 and 2025. In 2019 the market reached more than $6 billion, which is likely to triple by the end of 2025.

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