Posted on Thursday, Sep 24th 2015
The Social Media Management Software (SMMS) market has been consolidating rapidly with companies like Oracle, Google, Salesforce, and Adobe making significant SMMS acquisitions in 2012. To compete, Billion Dollar Unicorn Sprinklr has been on an acquisition spree, rolling up seven SMMS startups in 18 months.
New York-based Sprinklr was founded in 2008 by CEO Ragy Thomas. He had worked for several years at technology companies in the marketing field. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter provided a new channel for companies to interact with customers. But at that point of time, they were meant more for consumers than for companies. There was soon an explosion in the number of social customer touch points and big brands with multiple product lines in multiple geographies were finding it difficult to keep track of what was being said about them. Ragy therefore wanted to provide big brands with a social software platform to cohesively manage each customer’s social experience.
Ragy launched Sprinklr in 2009. It helps clients monitor how the brand was being mentioned across over 20 social media channels. It helps them identify the brand’s detractors and supporters. Initially, Sprinklr worked closely with a few customers to hone the platform before scaling it.
Targeting only big brands, he wanted Sprinklr to be a “Ferrari” in the social media management industry. By 2012, Sprinklr was working with over 100 top-tier companies, including Samsung, Microsoft, Dell, Cisco, SAP, Target, Nike, and Virgin America. Today, Sprinklr serves more than 1000 brands with more than 900 employees in 10 countries.
Sprinklr recently launched its Experience Cloud™ technology platform that extends social media management to websites and commerce. Brands can map the journey of their customers, starting at their first engagement, all the way through the purchase cycle.
Sprinklr does not disclose its revenue figures. However, it claims to have tripled its revenue and bookings between 2013 and 2014 and expects to triple its revenue again this year. Its average annual enterprise pricing is $150,000 according to a Digital Marketing Depot Research report. Multiplying it with the 1000 brands that they serve, they probably have annual revenue in the range of $150 million.
Sprinklr plans to go public later this year. But before it goes public, Sprinklr wants to be a one stop social media solution as the demand for end-to-end social media solutions has intensified. Since 2014, it has acquired seven companies for undisclosed sums. Last year, it bought advocacy marketer Branderati, social and brand analytics platform Dachis Group, and Facebook ad optimization platform TBG Digital. This year, it started off with its acquisition of social community provider Pluck, followed by Brazilian social media platform Scup, feedback management platform Get Satisfaction, and text analytics software provider New Brand.
Sprinklr competes with Lithium, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and BrandWatch as well as offerings from larger companies like Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce.com.
Sprinklr bootstrapped for about three years. They started raising venture capital in 2012 and since then have raised a total of $123.5 million from Battery Ventures, Intel Capital, and Iconiq Capital. Their last round of funding was held in March this year when they raised $46 million in a deal that doubled its valuation from $520 million in an earlier round to $1.17 billion. Now, if indeed they’re doing $150 million in revenue, then this valuation seems reasonable, and defensible, and this could be a Unicorn that may hold up under public market scrutiny.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. Unicorns will also be discussed with some special guests during our 1M/1M Roundtable programs over the next few weeks. To be a part of the conversation, please register here. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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