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An inside view on the Bango and NHN Corp global data partnership announcement

Today, the Bango Circle grew larger. NHN, a big data business based in technology hot-bed South Korea, expanded its partnership with Bango and became an investor. Through the agreement announced today – which includes significant new funding into our Audiens Customer Data Platform (CDP) business – NHN has closely aligned itself with the Bango vision to become the technology behind every payment choice.

It started with a straightforward commercial deal between NHN and Bango last year, which exposed Bango to some very talented data scientists. NHN was processing both off-line and on-line payment data and had developed some powerful tools and AI based systems to extract deep insights from that data. They were boosting the performance of some very large Korean businesses.

Having started to expand to the USA and Japan, they were carefully evaluating their options for relevant technologies and broader global reach, especially into Europe. With great chemistry between our respective leaderships – and the mutual interest in using technology to revolutionize commerce – it did not take long for us to start formulating plans to work together more closely.

That planning process has led to this new, strategic agreement, which has significant benefits for our customers, partners, investors and employees.

  1. Putting meaningful data in the hands of online businesses. The Audiens CDP gives marketers a powerful and easy way to organize and action the data they need to get the right offers in front of the right customers. The deep data science developed by NHN makes commerce data more informative and more valuable.
  2. The expanded business has the capabilities to become a global leader in data technology. It has state-of-the-art technology; excellent engineering; a world-class team based in Milan and Cambridge, backed by technical expertise in Seoul; and a superb, market-leading product in the Audiens CDP.
  3. Audiens plus NHN will meet the challenge of turning increasingly huge data sets into precise and relevant marketing actions that grow revenues while meeting consumer demand for privacy and consent.
  4. The focus on “commerce led marketing” benefits consumers, who will see online advertising focused on the products and services they are more likely to be interested in buying.
  5. The partnership leverages the position of NHN as one of the leaders in data science outside of the powerhouses of Facebook, Google and Amazon.

This is a great deal for Bango as well. We have close engagement with NHN Group, with highly aligned interests in mobile commerce, payment processing and marketing optimization for app developers and merchants. Bango acquired Audiens, which was being nurtured inside an Italian digital agency, two years ago because it was the best Customer Data Platform we had evaluated. The acquisition enabled us to accelerate Bango Marketplace by 12 months, providing marketable payment audiences that boost app developer revenues. Since the acquisition, the growth of the Audiens business alongside our core business has beaten our forecasts, and Audiens has been able to partner with more digital agencies.

Now we hold a significant stake in an enlarged, well capitalized business that has the ingredients for global success. It has an excellent management team that can drive it to succeed. At the same time, the Bango team, which has already delivered tremendous growth, can continue to focus on driving the payments and Bango Marketplace business forwards. Between Bango and the Audiens CDP business there will continue to be significant alignment and opportunities for cross-fertilization. Data, as they say, is the new oil.

Strategic partnerships that grow out of commercial relationships are particularly gratifying. They signal both the success of the commercial relationship and the recognition of common thinking, joined-up ways of working and shared ambitions. I am very excited about this partnership, it is one of the most significant milestones in the history of Bango. At a time when so many of us are having to work behind closed doors, this partnership opens-up new horizons, new possibilities and great confidence about the future.

Ray Anderson, Executive Chair at Bango

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