Seattle-based social media sales intelligence firm Socedo is shutting down next month, and its four-person engineering team will join Azuqua, the cloud software integration and automation company, also based in Seattle.
The move, announced Tuesday morning, comes after Socedo learned earlier this year that Twitter planned to alter its polices and practices for third-party APIs. Socedo CEO Aseem Badshah said in a recent interview that his company relied on those APIs to help customers extract sales leads and other marketing data from Twitter.
Both companies declined to discuss the financial details of the transition, but Badshah said Socedo’s investors, which include Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, Techstars and Seattle-based Divergent Ventures, support the deal and will be compensated.
Kevin Yu, Socedo’s co-founder and CTO, will become Azuqua’s vice president of engineering, leading its development organization and reporting to Nikhil Hasija, Azuqua’s founder and chief product officer.
Socedo’s software lost some some functionality as a result of Twitter’s changes in its APIs and automation rules, part of a broader push by social networks to revamp how third-party services integrate with Twitter. The altered API policies were not enough on their own to torpedo Socedo’s business model, Badshah said. Still, Socedo lost about two or three months worth of sales as it scrambled to adjust to Twitter’s changes. In addition, he said, some customers began questioning the value Socedo’s platform was contributing following the Twitter API changes.
Twitter is cracking down on bots and automation. Facebook is taking a stricter stance on data usage. The ability for #social media marketers to take shortcuts to engage their audience is going away. Here's how to do it the right way: https://t.co/tYsiWQqSap #SMM pic.twitter.com/8t4Sb3OqEy
— Aseem Badshah (@aseemb) June 10, 2018
As Socedo’s engineers scrambled to adjust to Twitter’s new API policy, Badshah said, it became clear that Socedo did not “own its own destiny” and needed to diversify.
As it continued to grapple with these problems, Socedo’s leadership team reached out to Azuqua several months ago to discuss a merger, CEOs of both companies said. Leaders of the companies had originally met as participants in the Microsoft Azure accelerator program, a Techstars program. They arrived at an arrangement where Azuqua would absorb Socedo’s engineering team. All other members of Socedo team have found new jobs, said Badshah, who added that he plans to take some time off before taking on his next venture.
Socedo was founded in 2012 and had about 25 employees at its peak. It been growing rapidly as recently as last year. Its revenue tripled in 2016 and in 2017 it raised $1 million from Techstars Ventures, Vulcan Capital and Divergent Ventures as well as various angel investors. In all, the company raised $2.5 million over four years.
Azuqua, which now employs more than 50 people, will not acquire any of Socedo’s technology, customers or other assets. Both platforms will operate independently until July 31, when the Socedo platform shuts down permanently. Socedo is currently searching for new vendors to serve its customers, Badshah said.
So what does Azuqua get out of the deal? The company, which raised $10.8 million in Series B funding last summer, has a library of pre-built “connectors” for all kinds of different apps, including Salesforce Marketo, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Adobe, Hubspot, and Slack. Using this platform, Azuqua partners can design, build and deploy custom features — or “integrations” — for less than they could develop them in-house, then sell those features to their customers.
Azuqua CEO Todd Owens said the company will benefit from adding an engineering team that specializes in marketing technology, its largest and fastest-growing sector. “We felt like it was a perfect match,” Owens said.