Whether it’s the friend who never answers the phone or the relative who doesn’t check their email, people tend to know which ways of reaching out are going to be more effective. Figuring out the best way to get in touch with others is a riddle companies have had to solve as well since they depend on reliable customer communication to fuel their marketing strategies.
Offering an answer that aims to appease this sphinx is Atlanta-based Voxie, a marketing tech platform that uses automated text messages to connect brands with their customers. The solution leverages AI and natural language understanding to help businesses in the retail, restaurant and e-commerce industries hold personalized conversations with their target audience. The startup also raised additional capital this week to further its product and grow its internal team.
“The way businesses engage with their customers today is broken,” Bogdan Constantin, Voxie’s CEO, told Built in via email. “Email, phone, mail [are] all legacy mediums that no longer work. Our thesis is that in the future every business has to talk with its customers where they talk with their family and friends. Overwhelmingly, that’s text in the U.S.”
Building on the concepts behind email marketing, Voxie furthers these automation capabilities by enabling full back and forth conversations between brands and their end customers. In addition to processing what a customer says, the platform leverages data like a customers’ birthday or the products they’re interested in to let brands continually engage with them. Its platform has features like “reply to buy” that allows companies to sell directly within texts and Message Hub, a tool for non-automated conversations.
Voxie considers its timing within the marketing industry and the medium of text messaging to be a perfect match. The company found that 98 percent of its texts are open — 90 percent of them within the first 15 minutes — and those texts receive responses more than half the time.
“Voxie’s entire platform is built on innovation bred from frustration with what existed previously,” Constantin said.
Having worked to solve a range of challenges in delivering its solution, from making texts deliverable at high volume to building scalable processes, Voxie saw 500 percent overall growth last year, according to Constantin. The company is continuing that momentum with an influx of new capital.
Voxie announced last week the extension of its Series A funding round. Previously announced in January, the $6.7 million round was led by Noro Moseley Partners. Now, the company has added $25 million to its funding after an investment from Tom Noonan, founder of Internet Security Systems, Endgame and TechOperators.
Amid increased demand for its tech within the consumer enterprise space, Voxie is investing the money in growing across customer success, product, engineering, sales and marketing. The company is headquartered in Atlanta with bases in Boston and Denver. Powered by a hybrid workforce, Voxie’s Peach State headcount totals about 50 people. It plans to reach around 100 in Atlanta by year’s end, Constantin said.
“[In the] long term, Voxie is one of the biggest and most relevant companies in Atlanta because of what it can do for brands on a global scale,” Constantin said. “We’re building something really, really big that will fundamentally change the paradigm shift of how businesses talk with their customers at scale.”