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Billion-Dollar Social Marketing Startup Sprinklr Extends Reach

Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy ThomasSprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas
Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy ThomasCourtesy of Sprinklr

In early April, billion-dollar marketing startup Sprinklr closed its ninth acquisition in two years, paying an undisclosed sum for social analytics startup Postano. The buyout advances Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas’s quest to create a “command central” that large companies can use to monitor and manage customer relationships via social media and networks.

Sprinklr now offers at least two dozen applications for placing digital advertisements, scheduling social media campaigns, managing online reviews and ratings, and so on. That’s significant because these activities are often handled with separate marketing or advertising software applications by separate teams that may or may not have a view into what colleagues are discovering or doing.

Sprinklr, valued at more than $1 billion after a March 2015 funding round, is trying to convince chief marketing officers at large companies—especially those with industry-specific corporate governance concerns or maintain sophisticated crisis management strategies—that fragmented views are insufficient.


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The $46 million it raised last year was earmarked to expand its product portfolio beyond its core focus in social media management. “Brands that don’t look at this experience from across all channels will fail,” Thomas tells Fortune. So far, New York-based Sprinklr has convinced approximately 1,000 big companies that its holistic approach makes sense.

Those corporate customers already include Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Samsung (SSNLF), Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Virgin America (VA).

Starwood (HOT), for example, has used the system for about 18 months to filter more than 300,000 comments or inquiries monthly. Sprinklr helps Starwood’s social team prioritize messages that should be addressed personally. The software is also used to manage outreach to members of the hospitality company’s loyalty program.

“It’s our opportunity to engage with guests to make them feel warm and welcome or to turn a not-so-great stay into a positive ending,” says Marcella Nicotera, Starwood’s director of eService and Social Care.

Approximately 85% of incoming requests are addressed within 30 minutes of the initial outreach, Nicotera says. What’s more, the company has cut the amount of time it takes to generate monthly activity reports illustrating data, such as sentiment and average response times from one day to approximately 20 minutes.

The latest addition to Sprinklr’s stable of social management software, Postano, brings technology that crunches trend data and converts it into graphics that can be displayed on a website or digital displays in sports arenas or retail locations. It works with about 200 brands.

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“We launched Postano to capture the excitement fans would feel when they saw their social content leap from their mobile device to the stadium screen,” wrote Postano President Justin Garrity, in a statement. “From retail stores to corporate lobbies to stadiums, we’ve been able to turn large digital displays into canvases for brands to capture the creativity of their customers and transform it into an engaging experience for everyone.”

It was a busy first quarter for Sprinklr. As of mid-February, Sprinklr had about 1,000 employees, compared with the 700-person figure posted in March 2015.

Aside from buying Postano, the company inked a partnership with Yelp that gives its customers access to that site’s reviews and customer sentiment analysis. Yelp tracks an average of 86 million visits to mobile web sites on a monthly basis. “The sheer volume of this data is intimidating. We’re trying to make it actionable,” Thomas says.

The company’s list of competitors is also long considering all the different applications it now offers. Its two biggest rivals when it comes to offering a complete suite of social analytics and management tools are Salesforce (CRM) and Adobe (ADBE), according to Forrester Research.