Originally published on MarTech Advisor on August 29, 2018

San Diego: SOCi, Inc., the social media and reputation management for multi-location brands, today announced it closed a Series B funding round of $10.5 million. Led by Vertical Venture Partners–with participation from Grayhawk Capital, Blossom Street Ventures, and Tallwave Capital–this latest round will help continue to fuel SOCi’s exponential growth over the next few years.

“When we think about growing and scaling SOCi, our first priority is the success of our customers. The two areas we are investing heavily in to ensure that success are the product and technology development team, as well as our customer success team,” said Afif Khoury, SOCi CEO. “We will be doubling our resources across these teams as we continue to execute on our vision of delivering a complete set of strategic tools that a multi-location brand needs to reach and manage its local customers while attracting and engaging new ones. Additionally, adding customer success veterans like David Marler to our leadership team. With this latest round of funding, we are cementing our position as a top enterprise marketing platform and THE solution for multi-location enterprises.”

In a recent report conducted by the Local Search Association, it was found that nearly three-quarters of a  brand’s engagement on Facebook, specifically, takes place on local business pages rather than the brand’s national page. This report, among other studies, emphasizes the growing importance for multi-location brands to maintain both a national and local brand presence across the top social and reputation management sites. A need that continues to grow based on data available from the most recent Economic Census, which shows that in 2012 more than half of all fast-food restaurants in the US were limited-service franchise restaurants, accounting for almost 70 percent of sales and 73 percent of employment within the entire category. This year, the Franchise Business Economic Outlook predicted franchise sector GDP will reach $451 billion (roughly 3% of US total GDP). 

Added Khoury: “As more people engage with brands on the top social and local review sites, the need for brands to have an enterprise tool that enables them to more efficiently and intelligently manage these opportunities at scale becomes that much more critical. While sites like Facebook have been prioritizing local pages to help businesses regain some of the reach and engagement lost from organic traffic, most companies don’t yet have a holistic management solution like ours to manage and maintain an engaged community at that brand-defining local level.”

SOCi’s Series B funding follows Entrepreneur Magazine’s announcement of the company as one of the top suppliers for franchises in 2018, the magazine’s “first-ever ranking of the companies that help franchises thrive.” Compiled through franchisor surveys and supplier-specific scores, the rankings touch upon seven categories: accounting, banking/financing, legal services, marketing, merchant services, other technology services and public relations. First, for social media and reputation management, SOCi was also seventh out of 15 companies listed in the marketing category. 

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