Amperity is adding some more star power to its board of directors.
The Seattle-based customer data platform announced Thursday that Grammy-winning singer Ciara will head up corporate social responsibility efforts, serving as an advocate and advisor on Amperity’s community initiatives.
Ciara, the wife of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, is involved in a diverse array of entrepreneurial and business engagements in the Seattle area and beyond.
She recently launched the fashion company House of LR&C alongside Wilson and former Lululemon CEO Christine Day; she’s the founder of the record label Beauty Marks Entertainment; she’s a board member for Why Not You Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting underprivileged youth in Seattle and the surrounding area; she’s an ambassador and partner with leading brands such as Revlon, Equinox, and Pandora.
Ciara was also involved in Wilson’s efforts to get a Seattle-based social-media-style app called TraceMe off the ground two years ago and the couple are members of the Seattle Sounders FC ownership group. On Wednesday the pair announced that they are founding partners and equity owners in Evolution Advisors, a venture from insurance broker Acrisure catering to minority-owned businesses.
Amperity’s platform ingests trillions of data points from a single customer — via emails, purchase history, mobile app usage, website traffic, physical store visits, etc. — and crunches that information with machine learning to give marketers a holistic understanding of a given user.
CEO Kabir Shahani said Ciara gets the business and Amperity is getting an entrepreneur with firsthand experience building and representing brands at multiple levels,
“Ciara brings a critical outside voice to the organization. Someone who understands consumers and who knows what it means to serve the community,” Shahani told GeekWire. “She challenges us to think differently about our role in helping brands develop consumer trust, and how our technology can make a positive impact in people’s lives.”
The appointment is in line with a bit of trend around companies recruiting athletes and entertainers into the board room. The Wall Street Journal pointed out Thursday that Ciara shares the distinction with tennis star Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, and onetime basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. One expert in the report cautioned companies not to recruit just a famous name but someone with relevant experience building a business.
Founded in 2016, Amperity has attracted brands such as Alaska Airlines, Patagonia, Kroger, and others that use the company’s software to fine-tune their targeted marketing campaigns by connecting disparate data sources about individual customer habits.
Starbucks was an early adopter of Amperity’s technology, and the coffee giant’s President and CEO Kevin Johnson joined the board last fall.
Shahani said Ciara fits right in with Johnson and the other business leaders who serve on the board, including Concur co-founder and Accolade CEO Raj Singh and Madrona Venture Group Managing Director Matt McIlwain.
“People want to be able to trust the brands they buy from, and brands earn that trust when they truly know who their customers are and how to make them feel seen,” Ciara said in a news release. “Amperity helps brands understand their customers so they can personalize interactions and build that trust. That’s why I’m so excited to be part of what they’re doing, because I want to help everyone have better experiences with the brands they love.”
Amperity has 160 employees and has raised $87 million to date.