Atlanta-based text messaging marketing startup Voxie raised a $6.7 million Series A round from a team of Atlanta investors.
Voxie, founded in 2018, has a year of product and employee expansion ahead of it, CEO and founder Bogdan Constantin said. The fundraising, Voxie’s first institutional investment round, will help the company keep up with exploding demand.
Voxie, which saw a 600% revenue growth in 2020, helps companies connect with their customers through personalized text message conversations that use behavioral data and artificial intelligence.
The round was led by Noro-Moseley Partners with participation from Circadian Ventures and Engage Ventures. Local entrepreneurs Andy Powell of CallRail, Kyle Porter of SalesLoft, Fred Castellucci of Castellucci Hospitality Group, and serial entrepreneurs David Cummings and Wain Kellum also participated.
Castellucci, who owns multiple Atlanta restaurants such as Bar Mercado and The Iberian Pig, became an investor after using Voxie and gaining back revenue he lost because of the pandemic lockdown, Constantin said.
“I jokingly say we’ve assembled an Atlanta A-team of the top entrepreneurs and investors in town that are going to help us scale and grow and learn from mistakes they’ve made in the past,” Constantin said.
Constantin said Voxie has become particularly useful for retail and mid-market stores shifting toward an e-commerce model because of the pandemic. It allows these stores to interact in a personal way with customers through text interactions that feel human — different from deals coming from “spammy, five-digit numbers,” Constantin said.
With the funds, Constantin said the startup plans to focus on hiring and wants to grow its team from about 30 people to 100 by the end of the year.
“We’ve got a pretty massive pipeline that keeps stacking to the point where we can’t handle it right now until we hire more customer success, more engineers and more salespeople,” Constantin said.
One of the startup’s biggest challenges has been keeping up with the year’s demand with hiring, Constantin said. The other challenge has been training customers in how to use Voxie to its fullest extent.
Constantin sees Voxie as a “new category” of marketing, and he said businesses have trouble crafting the personalized text conversations that make the startup different from other text-based advertising.
“We’ve had to invest heavily in training our customers and teaching and guiding them and helping with strategies we call conversational playbooks to help them understand how to build conversations that make them more money,” Constantin said.
Constantin said Voxie helps businesses gain 10-30% more incremental revenue per month by engaging with their existing customer base.
Voxie has three new products planned for 2021. Reply to Buy is set to launch during the first quarter and lets repeat customers instantly buy a product through replying to the text message.
Constantin said the startup is also looking to expand into other texting-based platforms, such as Instagram direct messaging, to further help businesses connect with customers on the platforms they use the most.