Location marketing platform, Soci, has raised $120m (£101m) to invest in a line of AI marketing products and expand into new markets. The round was 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.
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 said it 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 makes highly intelligent and impactful marketing decisions, while also automating time-consuming marketing tasks at scale. Soci recently launched the first ‘Genius’ product with an 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.
In addition to its investment in AI tech, 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 and grocery, have already used the SOCi platform to reach local audiences, SOCi has recently developed specific products and features that help brands in consumer products and other manufactured goods categories to 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.
"Soci's customers have thousands of marketing decisions to make across hundreds or thousands of locations,” said Soci CEO and Co-founder, Afif Khoury. “The opportunity for optimization is incredible, but at such a scale it's stunted by true human capacity issues. 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."