While Sugar gains a ton of AI expertise, it also adds a customer prediction element to the platform, such as figuring out the customers most likely to convert or most likely to leave.
This puts it in more direct competition with Adobe and Salesforce, which for some time have had intelligence layers that provide that kind of predictability. CEO Craig Charlton says his company’s solution puts that kind of capability in reach of more companies.
“Sugar is democratizing AI, ushering in a new frontier in CX (customer experience) with its powerful combination of AI, time-aware and data enrichment, to drive business performance and enable predictability for companies of all sizes,” Charlton said in a statement.
Node CEO and founder Falon Fatemi says the two companies had previously engaged commercially and immediately saw that it would make sense to come together. “The team at Sugar instantly saw the value of our prediction-as-a-service platform to accelerate time to market in putting the power of prediction into all of Sugar’s products across specific use cases that have challenged sales, marketing and service teams for decades,” Fatemi told TechCrunch.
Paul Greenberg, president of the 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light, says the two companies match up well, and Node represents a valuable addition for Sugar. “Node fills a gap for SugarCRM adding engagement analytics and action at both ends of the business, and at the same time provides a market differentiator for them,” he said.
Node’s 30 employees will be joining the company, but Fatemi will not be going with them. Instead, she reports that she is moving on to start something new. “I’m moving onto a new venture and will share more details at the appropriate time,” she said.
Sugar has been around since 2004 and raised over $123 million along the way. Accel-KKR bought the company in 2018, and began a process of evaluating and overhauling it, as private equity firms tend to do.
It brought in CEO Charlton to run things last year and started on a road of using acquisitions to fill in holes in the platform. This represents the fourth acquisition, including three last year, according to Crunchbase data.
Node was founded in 2014 and has raised over $43 million, according to Crunchbase.