Evocalize Raises $3M From Madrona To Spur Better Consumer Conversations

1/16/14Follow @bromano

Evocalize, a startup that moved from Austin, TX, to Seattle, has raised $3 million from Madrona Venture Group to help companies ask better questions of their customers.

The Series A round will allow Evocalize, formerly known as DishOpinion, to grow its base of large business customers, and its technology platform, says co-founder and chief product officer Matthew Marx. The company’s clients include car2go, Rosetta Stone, and Burger King.

The company’s software, delivered as a service, aggregates customer data to help inform marketing and customer feedback communications.

Co-founder and CEO Kumar Srinivasan says consumers today are barraged with requests for their opinions. This makes it harder for companies to get thoughtful feedback from their customers through traditional channels such as surveys.

“Brands believe in the power of this, but it’s not done systematically, not in a scientific way,” Marx says.

Evocalize says its software helps companies send questions and other communications to their customers tailored for content, timing, and target audience, based on a better understanding of who the customers are and their past interactions with the company.

The company wouldn’t specify pricing for its service, with executives noting that it varies widely with its customers’ broad range of activities and usage volumes.

Srinivasan, left, and Marx

Srinivasan, left, and Marx

Evocalize began under the name DishOpinion in Austin about 18 months ago, raising $450,000 from friends, family, and angel investors.

The move to Seattle was prompted by a search for talent, and by Srinivasan’s history here. He previously worked at Drugstore.com and Amazon before moving to Bazaarvoice, an Austin company where he met Marx.

Evocalize, which has 10 employees and is growing, has been able to find workers it needs here with expertise in natural language processing and machine learning.

“You have some amazing big data talent here in the Seattle area, and strong chops within the retail market,” Marx says.

Scott Jacobson, a Madrona managing director, has a seat on the Evocalize board.

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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