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Craft of Code

Turning Data into Targeted Customer Experiences

Retargetly is the leading independent data solution from LATAM. The company’s proprietary platform processes over 25 billion data events a month and transforms them into actionable analytics that drive business results across the board. Regargetly provides services across LATAM and has offices in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, São Paulo and New York.

“Know thy customer” has long been considered the first commandment of marketing, even back in the days when anecdotal data from salespersons or a street address often was all a company had to rely on. Today, however, marketers should know much more about their customers, especially when you consider the information that is available to them. 

Unfortunately, like the thirsty sailor in Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” who lamented “Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink,” many marketers look around and see data everywhere but have no way to aggregate all of that information and tap its power. Frustrated by this dilemma, a trio of Argentinian marketers—Daniel Czaplinski, Federico Nieves, and Paula Ambrogi—set out to make data more accessible and actionable, forming the Buenos Aires-based company, Retargetly, in 2014. 

Federico Nieves, co-founder and current managing director platform at Retargetly, recalls the company’s beginnings. “Retargetly started as a simple data collection tool to help publishers track their users and create segmentation to help them sell more targeted advertising at higher CPMs. Since then, we’ve changed a lot. Today, we are the leading independent full-stack data company in LATAM.”

Federico Nieves

“Our mission is to make data actionable and a core part of every brand’s marketing strategy by providing world-class products and services,” said Federico Nieves, one of Retargetly’s co-founders.

Retargetly has grown rapidly, filling the marketing data void with technology solutions that aggregate data from multiple customer touchpoints and deliver actionable insights to marketers so they can better present the messages, offers, and products that their customers really want. As a result of the data insights Retargetly provides, its customers have seen improvements of up to 20 times in click-through and conversion rates.

The company is now the leading independent data solution provider in Latin America, processing over 25 billion data events a month and transforming them into actionable analytics. Retargetly offers data management and audience solutions and has established additional offices in Mexico, Brazil, and New York. The company serves more than 700 clients, including AT&T, P&G, Havas, Danone, OMD, Santander, Publicis Groupe, and IPG Mediabrands. It engages in audience distribution with companies such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Oracle, and Verizon.

Infrastructure Growth

When Eduardo Fortes started working at Retargetly as its head of infrastructure, he quickly realized that bare-metal services at another data center would likely not be able to handle the rapid growth on the company’s horizon, so he made the switch to Linode.

Eduardo Fortes

“In the beginning, I was a one-person IT operation, but Linode’s Professional Services team became my infrastructure team, almost like they were working in-house with me. They helped me select the best nodes for our requirements, and as we migrated our services, they were in constant communication with me, available to me whenever I needed them—that was true then and still is now,” said Eduardo Fortes, Head of Infrastructure, Retargetly.

“Just the other day, Linode’s Professional Services team responded within minutes when I asked them to join a call with a customer,” said Eduardo. “Their team hopped on the call and provided some critical technical information about the SSD deployments on Linode. You simply don’t get that kind of service from other providers. In every way, Linode demonstrates that they are committed to helping Retargetly succeed. I know I can count on them.”

Retargetly makes extensive use of Linode. Eduardo described some of the components of the company’s infrastructure:

  • More than 60TB worth of live data—all stored on Linode SSD storage.
  • A Hadoop ecosystem as a core storage and processing platform running a multi-node cluster deployed with Ambari.
  • After previously doing DNS load balancing on its own, implemented Linode’s NodeBalancer to automatically add capacity or remove nodes due to maintenance in a fast and automatic way.
  • Services like HDFS for storage, Spark/Yarn for distributed processing with Scala/Python, and Kafka for message queueing.
  • Apache Druid for a high-performance real-time analytics database.
  • Elasticsearch Cluster, accessing 10 billion documents and 11TB of data in subsecond queries.
  • Object storage for quick backups using S3 API-compatible tools like duplicity.
  • Linode Command Line Interface (CLI) and Terraform on a daily basis for provisioning and automating services.

“We are excited about the Linode product roadmap,” added Eduardo. “We’ve already raised our hand to say we’re in for some of the features coming like cloud firewalls, VLANs, managed databases, and some bare-metal for some special use cases. And when Linode brings a South American data center online, we’ll be the first one there!”

Eduardo says Lindode’s features and capabilities will help Retargetly find innovative ways to take all the data and make it actionable. Marketers: Prepare to “Know Thy Customer” better than ever before.

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