Two powerhouses in the social management space are joining to form the largest independent end-to-end social relationship platform in the market. Sprinklr, a New York City provider of social media management tools, is buying Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a social analytics company, the companies announced today.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Jeff Dachis, founder and CEO of Dachis Group, told CMSWire this morning that "everyone is happy with the outcome."
Andrew Jones, an analyst at Altimeter Group who focuses on social media management and cross-channel customer engagement, said the deal "makes sense." The companies are "very complementary," he explained, "not only in terms of technology but in terms of the talent at Dachis Group. Dachis has roots as a consultancy, which Sprinklr will be able to leverage in its business."
By acquiring Dachis, Sprinklr adds industry leading brand analytics and content optimization to a platform Forrester Research already rates as “the most powerful technology on the market.”
Big Companies, Low Profiles
If you can't rattle off much about either company involved in this deal, you're not alone. Neither has the brand recognition of Adobe, Oracle or Salesforce — just three of the companies that Sprinklr counts among its chief competitors, along with a number of small social media management startups, too.
But don't let the low profiles fool you. The two companies have collectively raised more than $95 million in venture capital and acquired 11 companies, including three Facebook Preferred Marketing Developers. And both have some powerful names behind them.
Dachis helped usher in full-service digital marketing in 1995 when he co-founded Razorfish out of a one-bedroom New York City apartment. Razorfish was sold several times before it was ultimately sold to Microsoft in 2007 as part of its $6 billion purchase of aQuantive and more recently was spun off and sold to Publicis for $530 million.
In addition to his role at the company that bears his name, Dachis is an entrepreneur in residence at Austin Ventures, serves as an advisor at Socialware, among other things.
But What Do They Do?
Then there is Sprinklr. Founded in 2009, Sprinklr offers its clients tools to manage their social media platforms and better build relationships with customers. And while you may not know much about it, it has attracted dozens of top-tier companies, including Intel, Dell, Virgin America, Cisco Systems, DuPont, Samsung and General Motors.
Founder and CEO Ragy Thomas said Sprinklr targets only the biggest companies in the world. More than 80 percent of its clients take in more than $1 billion in revenue each year — and Ragy said he turns down a few potential clients each day because they simply aren’t big enough.
Sprinklr has some impressive admirers. The Altimeter Group has called it “the most capable” Social Media Management System to serve the needs of large organizations.
Econsultancy gave Sprinklr two consecutive “top-right” rankings.
Forrester Research called Sprinklr the most powerful technology on the market in a report (fee charged) on social relationship platforms (SRP) vendors last spring. It edged out seven competitors, including more established vendors like Adobe and Salesforce's Buddymedia.
In November, Sprinklr raised $15 million in second-round funding from Intel Capital and Battery Ventures — funds that it is apparently using to buy Dachis Group and "accelerate our product by at least 12 months,” Thomas said.
Dachis Group was created in 2008 with a focus on data-driven social marketing solutions. Its social analytics software platform powers the real time marketing and social engagement of global brands and agencies through a combination of big data social analytics and world-class social consulting services. The company claims to have served more than 50 percent of Fortune 500 brands worldwide, including Disney, Discover Financial Services, Estée Lauder, Hewlett Packard, IHG, Kodak, Nestlé, Nokia and Target.
The acquisition is "like chocolate and peanut butter," Dachis said, describing the deal as the "right transaction to build on our longstanding vision for the evolution of social business."He continued:
With Dachis Group now a part of Sprinklr, we get to help our clients, our employees and the marketplace rapidly accelerate their engagement marketing efforts with a complete social relationship management platform bringing together all their efforts to engage their customers into one place to create a true Social Business. This is very powerful stuff."
Dachis said he's spent the past 20 years "navigating the dramatic shift in the marketplace" brought about by digital, mobile and social technologies and "has tried to help unlock the value and impact created when people can connect, share and engage with each other." He expects to continue to do that after the acquisition, when he assumes the roles of Chief Evangelist at Sprinklr and a permanent advisor to the company.
Other key players at Dachis include Peter Kim, chief solutions architect, Officer Erik Huddleston, chief technology officer, and Dion Hinchcliffe, chief strategy officer.
Kim is business strategist with a track record of helping the world’s biggest brands formulate marketing strategy and implement tactics in emerging communication channels. Huddleston, former CTO at Inovis, has a reputation for understanding the strategic role and importance of product management. Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized thought leader and practitioner in the areas of information technology, business strategy, and customer engagement.
So why sell to Sprinklr? The goal is to give enterprises a streamlined alternative to managing a multitude of point and platforms. In a statement, Ragy explained:
Our clients are frustrated with having to play the role of a system integrator to cobble together multiple point solutions or waiting for innovation from large providers. Brands are looking for one infrastructure to manage end-to-end social experiences."
When the deal is complete, Sprinklr will serve more 400 brands and have 300 employees in cities including New York, Austin, London, Delhi and Mumbai. The Dachis Group’s technology will be fully integrated into the existing Sprinklr platform within the next three months, Thomas said.