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Conversational AI startup acquires marketing automation platform • St Pete Catalyst

The founders of Tampa-based Satisfi Labs believe a strategic acquisition will further their vision of changing the future of customer engagement through conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Company officials announced Tuesday morning that they acquired Factoreal, a Bangalore, India-based omnichannel marketing automation platform. The addition will propel the local startup’s Conversational Experience Platform by combining inbound and outbound messaging capabilities.

Satisfi Labs already works with some of the most prominent names in professional sports, entertainment and tourism. Donny White, co-founder and CEO, noted live events often lack the staff needed to help maximize customer experiences.

“The ratio of visitors to humans is crazy,” White told the Catalyst. “This is like putting a personalized concierge in your pocket. We look at how our fans interact with our product now and see that this will be a very successful addition.”

Donny White, co-founder and CEO of Satisfi Labs. Photo provided.

Satisfi launched in 2016 and provides conversational AI marketing. The platform enhances productivity by handling customer questions and completing repetitive tasks.

Users receive specific answers and can purchase tickets and other items without leaving the chat. The platform also compiles customer data and feedback to inform corporate decisions and helps identify digital communication gaps.

Satisfi is a member of Tampa’s Embarc Collective, an entrepreneurial incubator supported by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. White called Vinik’s early investment in the startup a “major catalyst.”

The Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and several other National Football League and Major League Baseball teams utilize Satisfi’s platform. The startup also serves nationwide attractions, concerts, retail and entertainment districts and college athletics.

Satisfi’s mission is to “make AI hirable.” White said the technology’s design allows it to fill a role that “90-plus percent of the time, it’s not even a job a human would be able to do.”

“A good example is one that works in the food and beverage department,” he explained. “And for 50,000 people on a Sunday, each of them can find the beer, soda or food that they want and how far it is from their seat.”

However, until the acquisition, the platform could only accommodate inbound questions and requests. With the addition of Factoreal, the AI can ask follow-up questions and perform related tasks.

White said the combined capabilities shift “the whole conversation from only being in the moment to potentially engaging over time.”

For example, the software as a service can recognize that someone is interested in a concert but did not buy a ticket. The AI will then ask if they want to know if it becomes cheaper or when and where the artist’s next performance will be.

“That’s a big disconnect in many industries,” White said. “This will create a more personalized and real-time tech stack.”

An example of the platform’s capabilities, which will increase with the acquisition. Screengrab.

Factoreal’s partner ecosystem will also enhance intuitive interactions between businesses and consumers. Users can purchase tickets from Shopify, SeatGeek and Ticketmaster within the chat.

Factoreal also works with major sports brands like the United Soccer League – home to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. White credited local industry connections for fostering the acquisition.

Florida Funders, a Tampa-based venture capital firm, led Satisfi’s Series A round. White said Factoreal’s founders approached the local investors, who then suggested he acquire the company.

“This entire synergy and the teams meeting really started from the Florida Funders putting us together with the idea,” White added. “They’re investors in us and on our board, so it was really cool to see them see this – and then take it all the way through … It is a very local story.”

While White grew up in New York, he said Tampa Bay “has been more of a growth driver.” He said the area has provided more customer and investor relationships than “anyone could have imagined. Then I tell people – and the weather is good. It’s like the catch at the end.”

White called the University of South Florida a top school for providing talent and said the Satisfi team frequently speaks at and collaborates with the academic resource. He said strengthening the tech workforce pipeline is a personal goal.

Satisfi will incorporate Factoreal into its platform over the next year, enhancing two-way conversations between consumers and AI agents built with contextual understanding and industry knowledge. Customers, including municipal governments and visitor bureaus, pay for a subscription and can integrate the product into any website or social media channels.

“Making it (AI) hirable is, ‘I want an employee to do this from a digital perspective that can also be mobile and scalable,” White said. “We just think AI has so many missed applications. That’s why we did it.”


Originally Appeared Here

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