Soci Inc., a marketing platform for multi-location brands, has raised $120 million to invest in a line of A.I. marketing products.
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 — the owner of 5-hour Energy International and other innovative products — led the round. The funding will allow Soci to leverage advanced artificial intelligence and machine-learning models to transform its software from a platform that brands use 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, according to Afif Khoury, CEO and co-founder of Soci.
The company recently launched the first of these “Genius” products with 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, according to a press release.
“SOCi’s customers have thousands of marketing decisions to make across hundreds or thousands of locations,” Khoury said in the release. “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.”
In addition to its investment in A.I. technology, Soci will use the funding to expand into markets, including manufactured goods. While hundreds of global brands across dozens of verticals such as food and beverage, retail, auto, telecom, grocery, health, fitness and more have taken advantage of the platform, 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.
“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,” Suken Vakil, general partner at JMI Equity, said in the release. “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.”
Over 700 multi-location and enterprise businesses totaling over three 3 million locations use Soci.