SOCi raises $120M to beef up its multi-location marketing platform with AI

SOCi raises $120M to beef up its multi-location marketing platform with AI

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SOCi Inc., the creator of a marketing software platform that’s aimed at multi-location brands, said today it has closed on a bumper $120 million round of funding that it plans to invest in artificial intelligence-powered products.

Today’s round was led by JMI Equity, a growth equity firm that specializes in enterprise software startups. The round also included participation from Vertical Venture Partners, Blossom Street Ventures and Renew Group.

SOCi sells a marketing technology platform that enables brands to localize their marketing campaigns for specific regions, with insights fueled by data analytics. The company said it’s planning some major upgrades to its software. It’ll use the funds from today’s round to create a new line of “Genius” products that leverage AI and machine learning models. The company explained that these new products will help it transition from a marketing platform to a “marketing partner” that can make intelligent and impactful marketing decisions while automating many time-consuming tasks.

SOCi’s first “Genius” product is a review response management tool that integrates with OpenAI LLC’s GPT-3 language model — the same model that powers the ChatGPT chatbot — to deliver instant, intelligent responses to online product reviews.

SOCi co-founder and Chief Executive Afif Khoury said that marketers have to make “thousands” of decisions regarding their marketing campaigns, across hundreds of different locations. “The opportunity for optimization is incredible, but at such a scale it’s stunted by true human capacity issues,” he explained. “Our ‘Genius’ products are the answer, as they will leverage sophisticated data science models to drive recommendations and automate data-driven decisions across the organization.”

While bolstering its platform with AI, SOCi is also planning to expand into new vertical markets such as manufactured goods. It explained that it has developed specific products and features that can help brands in consumer products and other manufactured goods categories by leveraging the marketing assets of local dealer networks to reach new audiences.

SOCi noted that its funding round comes at a time when many other technology firms are struggling to raise capital as a result of challenging macroeconomic conditions. However, it cited its recent “strong performance” and “drive for innovation” for sparking investor’s interest. The company claims more than 700 multi-location enterprise businesses as its customers.

JMI Equity General Partner Suken Vakil said he’s backing SOCi because many brands are challenged to scale up their marketing initiatives in multiple locations, and have problems optimizing performance for each one. “SOCi is the category leader in multi-location marketing, and its new line of AI-driven Genius products will only put more space between the company and its competition,” he added.

Image: SOCi

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