Invoca, a Santa Barbara–based company that uses AI to analyze sales and marketing calls, announced on June 14 that it had reached “unicorn” status — a more than $1 billion valuation — after raising $83 million in the latest financing round.
The company was founded in Santa Barbara in 2008 by Colin Kelley, Jason Spievak, and Robert Duva, who worked together at a communications firm. The three started the platform at a time when advertising and marketing were on the verge of evolving toward digital and web-based applications, and when CEO Gregg Johnson joined in 2017, he added a vision to integrate the emerging technologies of AI and voice processing to analyze sales calls and help businesses better train agents.
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With the latest round of funding, Invoca has reached a valuation of $1.1 billion, with $184 million in total venture capital. It is the latest company on the South Coast to have reached the elusive “unicorn” status, following Procore, AppFolio, Apeel, Evidation, and Impact.com.
In an interview with the Pacific Business Times, Johnson said he hopes to keep innovating through organic development and acquisitions; the company announced its first-ever acquisition of Chicago call tracking company DialogTech in 2021, which was for an undisclosed amount in combined cash and stocks.
Johnson said the deal brought the company’s annual revenue more than $100 million, more than twice of the estimated $45 million in revenue in 2018.
He also said he hopes to hire at least 50 more employees to expand the 380-person staff in the near future, but it may be too early for an IPO with the market in its current state.
“If you’re trying to build a world-class software company,” Johnson told the Pacific Business Times, “then certainly having the opportunity to IPO that type of company is the kind of thing we start thinking.”