Invoca wants to revolutionize marketing by introducing their cutting-edge artificial intelligence tech to Alexander Graham Bell’s 140-year-old mainstay – the telephone. With so much emphasis being placed on cultivating insights from digital data, many are overlooking the benefits of applying analytics to phone interactions with potential customers. With the help of Upfront Ventures and H.I.G. Growth Partners, the Santa Barbara-based business recently raised $56 million in new capital to meet that goal.
“With digital advertising spend expected to near $400 billion next year, marketers are investing heavily in Google and Facebook to drive awareness and customer acquisition,” said Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca. "Yet 90 percent of commerce still happens offline via contact centers and retails stores, especially in industries with more complex, expensive products. Brands are struggling to connect digital advertising investments to the human conversations that drive sales. Invoca addresses this gap and is helping sophisticated marketers like Dish Network drive a 60 percent increase in conversion rates and 15x in conversions.”
The company is an AI-driven call tracking and conversational analytics platform that provides deeper marketing analysis to person-to-person interactions. Users can use real-time call and conversational interpretation to optimize their paid marketing campaigns with Google and Facebook. Invoka can also cross-reference phone contacts and crunch the numbers from website, social media and email interactions and classify call outcomes based on predictive models customized to each user’s business.
Founded by Colin Kelley, Jason Spievak, and Robert Duva in 2008, Invoca powers over 100 million calls every year and provides their services to some of the Fortune 500's biggest companies in telecommunications, financial services, insurance, health care, and home services. Their flagship product, Signal AI, helps marketers demystify the conversational ‘black box’ for opportunities and leverages them into sales conversions for digital and offline campaigns. According to Invoca’s website, they fully comply with PCI, DSS, SOC Type 2 and HIPAA privacy regulations with all call analytics features enabled.
“Invoca made a huge leap by applying to sales calls. Marketers now discover the ‘purchase intent’ of consumers similar to how valuable it is knowing the terms a lead has typed into a Google search,” said Mark Suster, managing partner at Upfront Ventures. “With computers in every customer’s pocket, calls have become insanely important marketing channel for every brand.”
Upfront Ventures was one of the first investors to see the potential in Invoca. They joined Rincon Venture Partners in 2010 to help the company grow with capital contribution towards its $4 million series B funding round. As the largest venture capital firm in Los Angeles, they focus primarily on early-stage tech companies and prefer to act as long-standing partners with their portfolio companies. Founded in 1996 by Steve Lebow, Steven Dietz, and Yves Sisteron, Upfront is known for its notable investments in up-and-coming tech companies like Bird, GOAT, Kyriba, Apeel Science, Ring (acquired by Amazon), and Maker Studios (acquired by Disney).
H.I.G. Partners also contributed to Invoca’s most recent series E funding round and is the growth capital investment arm of H.I.G. Capital – a globally operated private equity firm with more than $34 billion in assets under management. They make both minority and majority stake investments in technology-focused industries such as SaaS; cloud & data software; tech-enabled services; internet and digital marketing services; consumer and e-commerce; and healthcare.