This morning at Localogy 2021, our Senior Analyst Mike Boland sat down with Afif Khoury, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist known to us as the fou0nder & CEO and of the social media marketing platform SOCi. Afif is also a founder of Axon Ventures, a VC firm that “provides an alternative venture investment vehicle to its capital partners.”
Afif describes SOCi as being three things. It’s a SaaS company. It’s a martech company. And it’s a localized marketing for multi-location brands company.
Since launching in 2012 SOCi has raised more than $117 million to fuel its growth. This includes an $80 million series D round closed in January. Soon after, SOCi put that capital to use, acquiring rival Brandify to solidify its position as what is arguably the largest localized marketing platform globally.
Here are a few things we heard from Afif this morning that stood out to us.
— “The customer journey is more complicated than ever,” Afifi said. And it is ever-evolving, he noted, referencing a customer journey map he showed during the session. “The beauty of digital marketing is that in six months this will change.”
— “I don’t believe human behavior changes than quickly without a catalyzing event,” Afif said. “And Covid was a catalyzing event.” He added that not every change will be permanent. “A million pendulum swings are about to happen.”
— Scaling localized marketing is what SOCi does. And it’s hard to do. Especially given the need to provide effective tools service both centralized (top-down) and decentralized organizations. “We are a permission and workflow platform more than a marketing platform,” Afif said. “We are solving the impossibility to scale at that level without software.”
— While SOCi still has physical offices, the company tapping into the global talent trend. Afif said his last two engineering hires were from Nigeria.
— Next evolution for SOCi is leveraging machine learning and data science to deliver intelligent recommendations and marketing automation.
— “Since we are in the local business, we should be leading the charge to get back out there [in the real world].”
Fireside Chat: Afif Khoury
Afif Khoury is both an entrepreneur and venture capitalist that has maintained a focus on digital and social media SaaS solutions. While most of us know him as the CEO and founder of SOCi, he also manages Scatter Ventures. With the experienced Afif at the helm, SOCi has raised over $117M to fuel its growth, including an $80M series D round closed in January of this year. Most recently SOCi acquired Brandify to solidify its position as what is arguably the largest localized marketing platform globally. Join us as we sit down with Afif and explore the chapters of the SOCi journey.