Sprinklr, the social media management company that vaulted into the “unicorn club” last month after it raised $46m on a $1b+ valuation, is making an acquisition to expand into a new area, customer feedback. It is buying Get Satisfaction, makers of a platform that lets businesses connect with customers online and get feedback on their sites.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and Carlos Dominguez, Sprinklr’s president, also declined to comment on the price in an interview. There are approximately 30 people at Get Satisfaction, all of whom are coming over to Sprinklr, bring its total up to about 750.
Get Satisfaction, founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, had raised just under $21 million from investors that included SoftTechVC, InterWest, O’Reilly AlphaTech, First Round and Azure Capital Partners.
Get Satisfaction will be integrated into Sprinklr’s bigger cloud-based social media management business — dubbed “Experience Cloud” — which helps businesses track individuals wherever they are leaving feedback about a business, be it on social media sites or directly on their own websites, covering about 25 different potential feedback channels in all. But it is also a bolt-on acquisition of sorts: today Get Satisfaction already works with 1,000 businesses, Sprinklr says, with customers including P&G, Rabobank, SugarCRM and Service Rocket.
“This is our fifth so we’re getting it down,” Dominguez said. “They will continue to operate and we will continue to support and sell Get Satisfaction’s products for a period of time. But where the value lies for us is in build this into an enterprise-class platform.”
This deal makes a lot of sense for Sprinklr, for two main reasons:
First, there is the very basic fact that it gives Sprinklr clients one more way to connect with customers and collect feedback online — something that has only grown in importance as we as consumers become more social and prone to doing most of our transacting in the virtual world.
“You can’t market or sell to unhappy customers in a world of connected consumers. It is only a question of time before all brands recognize that the marketing of the future begins with great customer care,” said Ragy Thomas, CEO and founder of Sprinklr, in a statement. “It makes no sense for the marketing team to spend hundreds of millions of dollars driving acquisition while the head of customer service is compensated on reducing the time with your best customers.”
Interestingly, while today Sprinklr focuses on “public” feedback, by way of what people say in forums and social media pages viewable by others, it looks like over time it will look for ways of building more bridges into the kind of feedback that is provided in more direct, private messages.
“The whole notion of the Experience Cloud is that we’re taking care of the ‘front office’ but we’re also building APIs for the back office,” Dominquez said. A recent partnership with SAP that will help integrate with those more direct feedback sources is part of how Sprinklr hopes to “marry the front and back office together.” It will also help it compete more squarely against the likes of Oracle on this front.
Second, Get Satisfaction will mean that Sprinklr will be able to offer businesses more options for collecting feedback on their own sites, not just third-party networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Sprinklr — and others it competes against like Hootsuite and Sprout Social — have built their businesses largely on the idea of integrating with lots of other services and providing a dashboard to its customers to help manage that. In doing so they have filled a hole in the market: the rise of social media has led to the growth of a disparate, unconnected group of services where brands and businesses get discussed, and for businesses, having a dashboard to be able to monitor and analyse all of that can be indispensable.
However, what it has also meant is that Sprinklr and its rivals are also largely at the mercy of the services it monitors: all it takes is for one of the social media companies to, for example, cut off its API access — for instance, in the event that said social media company wants to offer its own social media monitoring service — to lessen the value of the third-party social media management service.
This is where Get Satisfaction becomes an interesting acquisition for Sprinklr. What it will give the company is the ability to collect data from customers, about businesses and brands, on its own platform, which it can then use to power its wider analytics services.
“We have to honor third party terms and conditions, and we do,” Dominquez said, but the data that Sprinklr will have greater control over will give it much more flexibility in how that data is used and also presented, he added. “You can provide a richer experience to people. This tech has benefits for the brand and their customers. It enhances the experience.”
(And remember, Get Satisfaction has been around since 2007, giving it eight years of data collected already that could be used for analytics.)
“Get Satisfaction’s vision is to enable a world where customers achieve ultimate value with their brands. We upgrade outdated one-to-one support systems and increase a brand’s ability to create happy customers,” noted Rahul Sachdev, President and CEO at Get Satisfaction, in a statement. “In the last five years, Sprinklr has created a platform that is redefining how global brands connect with their customers. With Sprinklr, we now have a tremendous opportunity to accelerate our vision and deliver greater value.”
Sachdev is joining Sprinklr as VP of the “First Party Experience (FPX) business unit”, based out of SF.
This is Sprinklr’s sixth acquisition.