SOCi Inc., the marketing platform for multi-location brands, announced it has raised a total of $120 million to invest in a revolutionary line of A.I. marketing products and to expand into new markets. The round is led by JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading enterprise software companies, with participation from Vertical Venture Partners, Blossom Street Ventures, and strategic investor Renew Group Private Limited, owner of 5-hour Energy International and other innovative products.
Led by a group of neuro and data scientists, SOCi aims to leverage the new investment to change the relationship its customers have with marketing software. Through a new line of “Genius” products, SOCi will leverage advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning models to transform its software from an award-winning platform that enterprise brands leverage to market to their customers, to a marketing partner that both makes highly intelligent and impactful marketing decisions while also automating time-consuming marketing tasks at scale. SOCi recently launched the first “Genius” product with a first-of-its-kind OpenAI integration into the company’s review response management tool, which uses ChatGPT’s natural language model to enable instant, intelligent responses to online reviews.
“SOCi’s customers have thousands of marketing decisions to make across hundreds or thousands of locations. The opportunity for optimization is incredible, but at such a scale it’s stunted by true human capacity issues,” says Afif Khoury, CEO and co-founder of SOCi. “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.”
In addition to its investment in A.I. technology, SOCi will use the funding to expand into new markets, including manufactured goods. While hundreds of global brands across dozens of verticals such as food & beverage, retail, auto, telecom, grocery, health, fitness and more have already taken advantage of the SOCi platform to more effectively reach local audiences, SOCi has recently developed specific products and features that help brands in consumer products and other manufactured goods categories leverage the marketing assets of their local dealer networks to reach new audiences. These capabilities are what attracted Renew Group to explore SOCi as a platform, and ultimately invest in SOCi’s innovation and growth.
The funding round comes at a time when many companies are struggling to raise capital due to the challenging economic environment. However, SOCi’s performance and drive for innovation have made it a category leader, driving significant investor interest in the company.
“Multi-location brands face a unique challenge in their effort to scale marketing initiatives to multiple locations, not to mention optimizing performance for each of them. This is true for traditional brick-and-mortar, as well as for the consumer products being sold in them,” said Suken Vakil, General Partner at JMI Equity. “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.”
SOCi’s platform is trusted by more than 700 multi-location and enterprise businesses totaling over three million locations. SOCi has recently been awarded recognition from the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 5000, Inc., Entrepreneur’s Top Franchise Suppliers ranking, G2’s Best Software Awards for Marketing and Digital Advertising Products, Forbes’ America’s Best Startup Employers list, and The Financial Times’ List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies.