Snaps has raised $6 million in Series A funding for what it calls its Conversational Marketing Cloud.
By that, it’s referring to a suite of tools that allows businesses to promote themselves through messaging. CEO Christian Brucculeri said Snaps is differentiated by its “write once and deploy everywhere approach,” allowing marketers to build things like chatbots and emoji keyboards that work across platforms, no developers required.
Brucculeri also pointed to the Snaps’ ability to deliver personalized messages to each consumer, thanks in part to integration with customer databases and with artificial intelligence platforms like IBM Watson.
As an example of what a brand can do with Snaps, Brucculeri recounted a campaign with Bud Light, where a chatbot would ask consumers about their favorite team, then send them a message before the game, reminding them that kickoff was in two hours and asking if they needed a beer delivery from Drizly.
Snaps actually started out as an augmented reality company called GoldRun, but Brucculeri said it was a little ahead of its time — he joined in 2014 to help the company switch directions, eventually settling on its current model.
Snaps has since worked with brands like Nike and Macy’s, as well as celebrities like Lady Gaga, and it says that sales have been increasing 200 percent year-over-year for the past two years.
It’s also gone beyond traditional messaging, allowing marketers to build skills for Amazon Alexa as well. Asked about how the platform might continue to expand, Brucculeri said, “Channels like email and branded native applications are — I wouldn’t say that they’re dead, but I would say they’ve hit a point of maturity and relative decline. The future of communication is conversational.” And so the company will focus on “building products that speak to and help accelerate that vision.”
The funding comes from Signal Peak Ventures, with Signal Peak’s Brandon Tidwell joining the Snaps board. Brucculeri said the money will help the company expand its product, sales and customer support teams, and to open its first office to address the market of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Snaps has now raised a total of $13 million.