By Nancy Dahlberg
As an international marketer working with Fortune 500 companies, Marie Berry enjoyed the creative process but also experienced how inefficient and stressful the marketing production process can be. Not only was it very manual, with many hands needed to be involved in every tweak or approval, but often that wasn’t an efficient use of design talent that should be spending more time creating the ideas rather than on minor changes in production. "It was all based on designers that were pixel pushing and updating creative, be it different sizes, different languages, or for different formats," said Berry. "The design talent was often wasted because they were a lot better than moving a button from left to right."
To solve that problem, in 2018 Berry co-founded Kara Technology, a marketing automation software startup, with Brandon Lane, a former AirBnb and Palantir product designer. Today, Berry, Kara's CEO, is announcing that their now Miami-based company is being acquired by VisuWall, an out-of-home media company leveraging empty urban storefronts to engage with consumers in real time. As part of the agreement, Berry will be COO of VisuWall. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“By joining forces with the brilliant female leadership team at VisuWall, I'm thrilled to help create exciting moments for consumers while bringing Kara's vision to the next level: exploring out-of-home, and creating a smart end-to-end solution that is uniquely positioned for the new normal post-pandemic,” said Berry, a German-Bolivian entrepreneur who immigrated to the US from Europe in 2015.
Berry said Kara has driven explosive penetration and saved millions of dollars in digital quality control for global brands such as TikTok. Its patented technology allows companies to scale "brand-perfect" marketing files across the thousands of media channels, formats and languages required today to participate in international commerce, allowing for seamless approvals and automated creative updates, as well as streamlined export to HTML5 without any coding skills required, she said.
"Advertising formats simply cannot thrive without creative production solutions. It's a sticking point. The integration of Kara will ensure every single client whether a Fortune 500 global brand or independent B2B brand has an awesome experience with VisuWall. Gearing up for a massive proptech opportunity, we are elevating the game with AI and data that no other format can claim,” said Kobi Wu, founder and CEO of VisuWall, in a statement.
Berry is one of Miami’s early adopters among the influx of founders and investors who are moving to Miami, a critical mass that is helping to turn the Magic City into a tech hub. Formerly based in New York, Berry relocated the headquarters of her remote-first company to Miami in June of 2020 to be closer to its engineering talent in Argentina. She said she and her family are loving the city, with its immigrant hustle, entrepreneurial energy and of course the quality of life.
"I'm now even more excited about living here and with VisuWall being on the proptech side, Miami is a great market for that as well," Berry said. "My daughter who is almost 2 is turning into a beach bum."
For Berry, this is her second martech exit. She sold her brand growth and technology consultancy Chinatown Bureau to the large digital agency Icreon last year.
Photo at top of post: Kara co-founders Marie Berry and Brandon Lane.
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