Like many startups, Atlanta-based Voxie was created to solve a problem that founder and CEO Bogdan Constantin faced himself.
In Constantin’s case, this was at his previous tuxedo rental startup Menguin (ultimately acquired by Generation Tux), where he said he had to market a product with a six-to-nine month sales cycle, as customers were usually weighing different options for their weddings.
Email marketing, Constantin said, would result “worse and worse” open rates over time. So one day, he decided to just try texting everyone who signed up, introducing himself as “your personal stylist here at Menguin.” Not surprisingly, he got a lot more responses.
The challenge, of course, is having those kinds of text conversations across a large customer base. And that’s why Voxie — which is announcing that it has raised $6.7 million in Series A funding — offers tools to help businesses automate and manage that process.
Constantin claimed that compared to other text marketing tools, messages sent via Voxie feel like a real, personalized conversation — even though 80% to 90% are actually automated, with the rest of the messages written by people. Plus, Voxie will allow businesses to send their messages from a normal 10-digit phone number (rather than the more common five-digit numbers used for marketing).
Voxie was initially built for large enterprise customers, but Constantin said that during the pandemic, the company built a lower-cost version that is now being used by “a lot of retail, restaurant franchise brands, main street brands that are struggling right now.”
He added, “We’re working with brands that have hundreds of locations all over the country that needed a better way to engage their customers — to ask their names, ask how many kids they have and store that information at the individual profile level.”
Current Voxie customers include LG, Danone, Massage Heights and Buff City Soap.
The funding, meanwhile, was led by Noro-Moseley Partners, with participation from Circadian Ventures and Engage Ventures, as well as Atlanta entrepreneurs Wain Kellum, Andy Powell, David Cummings and Fred Castellucci.
“Voxie leads the market as the only platform that allows brands to have personalized conversations with customers at scale, which we believe will be key for its target customers to succeed in a post-COVID world,” said Noro-Moseley’s John Ale in a statement. “Businesses love Voxie as they see meaningful revenue uplift quickly and the personalization of the content means customers find the messages useful and highly relevant to their needs.”
Next, Constantin said the company will launch “reply to buy” functionality, allowing customers to place orders directly from their text conversations. And while Voxie is currently focused on SMS messaging, he claimed its vision is broader: “We want to deliver the right message at the right time via the right medium.”