SOCi, a business-to-business software firm that caters to multi-location marketers, has acquired Brandify. Anaheim-based Brandify with nearly 25 years of experience in providing location-based digital marketing solutions, will now operate under the SOCi brand. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are incredibly excited for this new chapter at SOCi,” said Afif Khoury, founder and CEO of SOCi. “Over the past year, it has become more important than ever for brands to connect with customers on a localized level.”
SOCi is an all-in-one marketing platform, able to help businesses with their localized marketing — specifically, managing clients’ internet presence via social media, searches, reviews and ad campaigns.
The company now serves 700 national and global enterprises including Ace Hardware, Anytime Fitness, Sport Clips, The Hertz Corp. and Nekter Juice Bar, among others. SOCi’s revenue was $13.37 million in 2019, up from $8.76 million in 2018 and $4.77 million in 2017.
The acquisition will accelerate its rank as the world’s largest localized marketing platform and deepen SOCi’s local search leadership and expertise, said Monica Ho, chief marketing officer of SOCi.
“The deal means SOCi is poised to become the local marketing data and analytics platform of choice for brands,” she said. “We’ve been growing 100% year-over-year and we have continued to grow triple digits. We have several large players in our space and we wanted to make sure that we were of comparable size.”
The acquisition brings additional functionality to the SOCi platform and market-leading search expertise to the SOCi team. With the additional resources from Brandify, it is the largest localized marketing platform globally with more than three million locations under management.
The deal also strengthens SOCi’s relationship with key partners, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Yelp and others.
“The acquisition was very complimentary to our offerings in a few ways: there was very little client overlap, which means we are acquiring a lot of really great brands. In addition, our technology was very complimentary as well as we got to bring some great staff that brings along a tremendous amount of local search experience,” said Ho.
All of Brandify’s roughly 60 employees have been offered jobs to join SOCi, which had 234 employees prior to the Brandify acquisition. SOCi is expecting the majority of former Brandify staff will become, as she put it, “new SOCilites.”
“Our deep history and expertise with location-based marketing solutions will be instrumental to SOCi in realizing its future vision,” said Manish Patel, founder and CEO of Brandify. “I’m proud of all that we have achieved since Brandify’s inception in 1997, and I look forward to supporting the SOCi team as they continue to execute their strategic growth plan and keep the combined company on an upward trajectory.”
Patel has decided not to join SOCi. He said Patel is expected to continue to service the advertising portion of the previous Brandify business through his new company called Omni Local.
The transaction of Brandify comes on the heels of SOCi raising $80 million in Series D funding announced earlier this year. The Series D investment round was led by La Jolla-based JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies.
Additional Series D participation included Ankona Capital, Afif Khoury, SOCi CEO and co-founder, and Doug Winter, SOCi board member and co-founder and CEO of Seismic. SOCi has raised roughly $115 million since its founding in 2012.
SOCi, which is part of the Downtown tech cluster, ranks third on the San Diego Business Journal’s most recent list of largest local Software as a Service providers, behind only Mitchell International Inc. and Certona. SOCi splits its workforce between San Diego and Austin, Texas.
“The integration of Brandify’s suite of solutions further solidifies SOCi as the leading all-in-one platform for executing the most important digital marketing campaigns across search, social, reviews and ads, helping our clients continue to connect with their customers, maximize their online presence and drive customers to their locations,” said Khoury.
CEO: Afif Khoury
BUSINESS: Business-to-business software firm offering an all-in-one marketing platform for localized marketing.
EMPLOYEES: Nearly 300
NOTABLE: CEO Afif Khoury has a varied background, including time as a high-tech M&A; attorney.