New Engen, a Seattle startup run by ex-Zulily executives that arms marketers with technology to help them spend their budgets wisely, has pulled back the curtain on its business after nearly two years in hiding.
New Engen emerges from stealth mode having already raised $10.5 million and grown to approximately 125 employees. Its customers so far include 1-800-Flowers, The Hershey Co., Tumi, Timbuk2, FanDuel and Universal Music Group.
David Atchison, New Engen’s CEO and former senior vice president of marketing and analytics for Zulily, said in an interview with GeekWire he started the company after seeing first hand how hard marketing can be as a company grows.
“When you start to scale, marketing gets less efficient over time, not more efficient,” Atchison said.
Atchison says there weren’t any companies or products out there that solved the problem of getting the best bang for buck out of a marketing budget as a company gets bigger.
Atchison says New Engen isn’t just for large enterprises. He sees his company as a solution for startups that are trying to figure out their niche.
“When you’re trying to find your market, and find your customer and find how to articulate your value proposition, you end up wasting a ton of money,” Atchison said.
New Engen measures its customers’ return on investments on ads and marketing campaigns on a variety of platforms including Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube, Bing, Snap and Amazon. New Engen’s technology relies on artificial intelligence, but Atchison insists that the company isn’t trying to replace employees. Its goal is to “champion the marketer and elevate them,” he said.
New Engen’s fellow leaders are President and Co-Founder Justin Hayashi, former director of customer acquisition marketing for Zulily and Chief Engineer and Co-Founder Jean-Guy Speton, formerly a senior software engineer at Zulily.
New Engen is ranked 128th on the GeekWire 200 ranking of privately held Pacific Companies. It is based in Seattle but also has offices in San Francisco, New York, Dallas and Charlotte.
New Engen’s emergence comes at an interesting time for advertising and marketing. In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, users are more protective of their personal information and wary of handing it over.
Atchison says New Engen doesn’t rely on any third-party personal information as part of its offerings. For a long time, the favored method for marketing was to know everything possible about the customer. Between data breach scandals and enhanced privacy regulations, that thought process is going to have to change, Atchison argues.
“Our general line of thinking is how do you deploy marketing, or what should your marketing process be when you know nothing,” Atchison said. “If you start from a premise of knowing nothing — meaning I don’t know where my customer is, I don’t know who they are — and I make my marketing and advertising work from that perspective, as you add data it just gets better.”