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Chicago-based Cheetah Digital has acquired Wayin, a global leader in zero-party data collection and activation. The acquisition is expected to strengthen Cheetah Digital’s ability to help marketers collect zero- and first-party data and preference insights that can drive more meaningful customer engagement.

Formed in 2016, Wayin is an industry leader in zero-party data — data that customers own and willingly provide to brands. Wayin seeks to help non-technical marketers to quickly create interactive experiences that collect the data, insights and permissions needed to activate personalized and permission-based marketing across all stages of the customer lifecycle. Working with many of the world’s leading brands such as Discovery Communications, NHL, Bauer Media, Vodafone, Priceline.com, Reckitt Benckiser, Air New Zealand and Manchester City FC, Wayin-powered interactive experiences have collected more than 1.3 billion zero-party customer data records in the past two years alone.

“Marketers have never faced a tougher challenge than they do today,” Cheetah Digital CEO Sameer Kazi said in a statement. “Consumers are demanding personalized experiences, global consumer privacy regulations mount, trust in and effectiveness of third-party sources deteriorates, and CEOs demand greater efficiency of their marketing spend. Smart marketers are turning to zero- and first-party data, to not only be compliant and build customer trust, but deliver exceptional brand experiences.

“Wayin is the leader in helping marketers acquire opted-in data at scale, and now combined with our enterprise cross-channel marketing platform, Cheetah Marketing Suite, and our industry-leading loyalty platform, Cheetah Loyalty, marketers are able to put that data to work in real-time with hyper-personalized experiences across all channels. We’re excited to team up with the incredibly talented team at Wayin to help marketers create lasting customer relationships – from acquisition to loyalty.”

Cheetah Digital provides technology and in-house professional services that marketers require to manage the breadth of data they possess and to deliver on the complex channel execution required to create lasting customer relationships. The company has employees in 26 offices across 13 countries.