Whenever you walk through the doors at the Barclays Center or Citi Field, there is a knowledge management platform hard at work behind the scenes. Satisfi Labs is the AI-powered knowledge management platform that ensures that visitors have the best experience, managing everything from concession and lounge traffic to the VIP season ticket holder experience. Built to harnesses the power of brand data by using it to power conversational chatbots, apps, and web and voice touchpoints. this three-year-old startup restructures brand data to enable transactions and drive revenue. The company has been powering not only live events but also in a variety of use cases like applications in retail, hospitality, and the enterprise for brands like Hilton and Macy’s.
AlleyWatch spoke with CEO and cofounder Don White about a successful funding round led by the MLB, which brings the total funding to $6M.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
Rather than raise in traditional series order, we’ve utilized an atypical model that is focused on raising enough to enable us to hit milestones. With every round, we’re more focused on increasing our company’s value than beating our last raise. This particular round was led by Major League Baseball and included strategic partners like Red Light Management, bringing our total funding to date to $6M.
Our preexisting investors who also participated include Stadia Ventures, Jeff Vinik, and Broadw.ai, a consortium of Broadway producers and theater owners.
Tell us about the product or service that Satisfi Labs offers.
Satisfi Labs is an AI-powered Knowledge Management Platform. Its technology makes brand data accessible and conversational, powering chatbot, app, web and voice touchpoints, creating unique customer experiences for leaders in Sports, Entertainment, Tourism & Retail.
What inspired you to start Satisfi Labs?
The problem with brands today is that data is unstructured and disorganized. We wanted to create a better way for brands to manage their data to create conversational search and commerce experiences.
How is Satisfi Labs different?
Chatbots of the past continuously struggle to access the deep knowledge required to address customer needs. The technology behind our Knowledge Management Platform digests brand data and restructures it in a manner that is unique to the market, accessible, accurate, and useful to customers as well as the brands who provide them.
Satisfi targets a number of markets including professional sports teams and facilities, retail, tourism, hospitality, live entertainment and soon, international markets in all areas.
What’s your business model?
We charge a subscription per year for the knowledge base which is derived from the amount of knowledge we manage. Customers are able to add in transaction plug-ins for the system to include commerce as part of the experience. (ticketing, F&B).
Who do you admire in the startup world and why?
I have a lot of respect for what WeWork has enabled in the startup world. Our company was able to establish itself in a great community with the perks of a large company right away. The WeWork experience has accelerated our ability to grow and hire talent beyond what I thought was possible.
What was the funding process like?
We are very fortunate that our long-time partners and clients, MLB, Red Light Management, Stadia Ventures, Jeff Vinik, and Broadw.ai investing in this round. Once we outlined our growth aspirations and identified applications for capital, it was a very quick process. It is a testament to our success so far, their confidence in our plans to grow and our shared vision of unlocking brand information for fans and customers.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
This recent raise did not create a lot of challenges because of the existing relationships with our investors. Fundraising is extremely difficult and one of the most humbling experiences available. I have been through that in the past, but thankfully these investors already knew our vision, team, and execution capabilities-which made it a rather stress-free process.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Not only does our technology organize and utilize brands untapped data, but it also creates an invaluable line of communication between brands and their customers that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
We help teach brands about their customers and customers about brands, which means better business for everyone.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We are looking forward to launching in international markets, live events, and music festivals. We will also be expanding our current footing in the sports, tourism, retail and enterprise spaces.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Due to the nature of how we raised money, we have operated on minimum resources since the company was founded. I think the lack of security capital enables a new level of hustle and creativity. What potential partners might be interested in equity deals for some business exclusivity? What reseller opportunities are out there so you can reduce the spend on sales hires? The lack of excess capital forces both focus and accountability, and those two qualities will take you very far when the capital does arrive.
The lack of excess capital forces both focus and accountability, and those two qualities will take you very far when the capital does arrive.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Our big focus is to capitalize on the areas where we have proven success, like sports and entertainment, and to replicate said success on a global scale. Our new growth area in the retail and enterprise market continues to be larger than we anticipated with applications for our unique technology. We had no idea that constructing knowledge engines for a live event, where there is almost no data, would be so applicable to the larger retail market where data is all over the enterprise.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
I have always loved going to Catch in the Meatpacking District because I love the seafood and the scene. It has been a favorite for many years and look forward to each new time.