It’s predicted that the annual number of mobile phone calls to businesses will reach 169 billion by 2020, and that click-to-call — web integrations enabling real-time calls — will influence more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending by next year. In fact, RingCentral reports in a recent survey that 70% of respondents use click-to-call functions from search ads to transact with companies, and that 65% prefer to contact businesses by phone rather than email.
That’s surely music to the ears of Invoca, a Santa Barbara, California-based provider of AI-powered call tracking and conversational analytics solutions. The company today revealed that it’s raised $56 million in fresh capital on the heels of a $30 million series D round in June 2016, bringing its total financing to date to $116 million. Existing investor Upfront Ventures and new investor H.I.G. Growth Partners co-led the round, which saw participation from other backers including Accel and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners.
Investors were no doubt pleased by Invoca’s continued growth — year-over-year bookings increased 75% year-over-year in the first half of 2019 with a $50 million run rate. Plus, the company has signed heavy-hitting customers like Dish Network, OpenTable, Vivant, AmTrust, Credit.com, Frontier Communications, LendingTree, Genesys, Mayo Clinic, Navistar, SunTrust, Samsung, University Hospitals, and U.S. Bank, which benefit from Invoca’s strategic partnerships with Google, Facebook, Adobe, Microsoft, and Salesforce.
CEO Gregg Johnson said the proceeds from this latest round will support the product development and the broadening of its digital advertising, marketing technology, customer relationship management, and affiliate marketing partner ecosystem. “Marketers are investing heavily in Google and Facebook to drive awareness and customer acquisition,” said Johnson. “Yet over 90% of commerce still happens offline via contact centers and retail stores … Brands are struggling to connect digital advertising investments to the human conversations that drive sales. Invoca addresses this gap.”
Invoca — which was founded in 2008 by Colin Kelley, Jason Spievak, and Robert Duva — develops an eponymous platform that tracks and attributes calls using dynamic phone numbers. It collates online and offline data in a single call profile that it uses to personalize call routing. And, leveraging rule-based call analytics and AI, Invoca classifies and segments conversations while detecting call outcomes such as purchases made, appointments set, or applications submitted.
For instance, an ecommerce customer might see data from Invoca like whether a caller loaded a shopping cart before they called and their estimated household income. They’d also see the caller’s last-viewed webpages and any keywords and knowledge base articles they searched, as well as the number of times they’d called before. Post-call, the retailer might be notified if the caller mentioned or purchased a product of theirs.
Invoca’s Signal AI, which recently launched, goes a step further by analyzing previous calls and automatically grouping conversations into topics based on speech similarities. It identifies call topics and outcomes (e.g., quote inquiry, claim filing, policy purchasing) to track using a custom-generated predictive model, and it applies the predictive models against live calls and automatically pushes conversions to third-party marketing platforms.
Invoca plays nicely with products like Google Ads to optimize paid search campaigns and Google Analytics to attribute calls and create audiences. Customers using Adobe Experience Cloud and Salesforce Sales Cloud can use the call data it collects for segment creation, or integrate call analytics for closed-loop attribution.
Invoca says that all of its products are both HIPAA and GDPR compliant, and that they offer granular controls for call recording, data redaction, and data access. But it asserts this privacy sensitivity doesn’t come at the expense of robustness — Invoca claims its platform can handle up to 10-times usage spikes and scale to handle more than 100 million call transactions per year.
“We’re coming into an era where technology is being used to enable and improve human connections, instead of replacing them,” said H.I.G. growth partners managing director Scott Hilleboe. “Invoca is on the forefront of this shift, giving marketers the tools to uncover and act on conversational insights in a way that is simple and scalable, similar to what they’ve been doing on the digital side for years. Given H.I.G.’s extensive investment experience in digital media, analytics, and call centers, we quickly recognized the incredible power and value of Invoca’s technology. We are truly excited to co-lead this round and usher Invoca into its next phase of growth, building on already impressive business momentum and a customer-first culture.”
Invoca has offices in Lone Tree, Colorado and San Francisco in addition to its Santa Barbara headquarters, and its workforce now numbers 230 employees.