Zappi, an AI-based customer insights startup, raises $170 million to digitize enterprise market research
The ongoing economic downturn coupled with the looming recession has exacerbated the challenges tech startups faced in raising new funds. While the funding well may be drying up, investors continue to pour money into cybersecurity, AI, and other tech sectors that have the potential to generate more revenue for businesses. One of the startups in these areas is Zappi, an AI-based research platform that helps businesses gain consumer insights.
Today, Zappi announced it has raised a whopping $170 million to help digitize enterprise market research. The round was led by Sumeru Equity Partners, with participation from undisclosed co-investors. The latest round follows several years of strong momentum for Zappi and the expansion of its team to over 300 people in 13 countries.
Zappi will use the new cash infusion to accelerate its position as the leading software platform for agile consumer insights. The startup also plans to expand data sets across new markets, verticals, and categories; power its platform innovation with emerging technologies–such as AI and natural language processing–to minimize the distance between analysis and action and continue expanding its team globally with new talent to make customers successful on the platform.
Founded in 2012 by CEO Steve Phillips and other market research industry veterans, Zappi offers creators AI-powered research software that returns impactful results in hours–not weeks. The platform allows creators to compare studies against 1.2 billion historical data points to validate, inspire, and optimize their best ideas before going to market. In 2021, Zappi reached a critical milestone of $50 million in sales plus consecutive years of 30% annual growth.
Today, Zappi has more than 350 global enterprises, including PepsiCo, McDonald’s, Heineken, and Reckitt. The core of Zappi’s products helps these customers run surveys on ideas as they weigh up what kinds of products to develop as well as early insights into how best to market them.
In a statement, Phillips said: “Zappi has a bold vision for the future: we want to digitize consumer insights for every enterprise. Today, only 3% of the market research industry is digitized. The other 97% is controlled by service-based incumbents that are slow, expensive, analog, and don’t fit the needs of creators.”
He added, “We’re driving innovation in the century-old industry with a platform that acts as a single source of truth for the modern enterprise, where creators have the right insights at their fingertips to inform every decision. Sumeru’s experience in high-growth, innovative SaaS businesses and commitment to people and growth culture made them the perfect partner to help us achieve this ambitious vision.”
In a statement, Matt Cahill, Senior Director, Head of Consumer Insights, at McDonald’s USA, said: “We started working with Zappi in 2018, to change the role of insights in our innovation development process. We wanted to get smarter, earlier in the process, to deploy McDonald’s development resources against ideas we knew were winners with a high probability of success.”