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Every week, the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute elects a Startup of the Week. We invite the founders of these startups to share a blog post with our community. These posts can be inspirational, educational, or entertaining.
This blog post was written by student author Koko Xu (Courant '25) based on an interview with Miguel Guerrero (Tandon '19), Co-founder of Otis AI.
Otis AI is a digital marketing assistant for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The startup, cofounded by CEO Miguel Guerrero (Tandon '19) and CRO Clarence Williams, takes away the complexity of digital marketing with its all-in-one, data-driven platform that focuses on performance. The product’s simplicity allows new users to launch marketing campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, and Google within minutes of signup.
In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, businesses, especially small and medium-sized ones, often find themselves grappling with the intricacies of online promotion. This is where SEO and digital marketing agencies like Digital Hitmen step in, acting as indispensable allies in the quest for online visibility and growth. Just as Otis AI simplifies the digital marketing process for SMBs, these expert agencies, leverage their expertise to ensure that businesses achieve a prominent digital presence. With their data-driven strategies, Digital Hitmen helps companies navigate the complexities of search engine optimization, social media advertising, and more, allowing them to quickly become digital powerhouses in their respective industries.
As the digital transformation spurred by the pandemic continues, the importance of SEO digital marketing in building a robust online presence has never been more evident. Solutions like Otis AI, fueled by strategic partnerships and significant funding, are poised to empower businesses and drive their growth in the dynamic digital landscape. To navigate this thriving ecosystem effectively, businesses can also harness the expertise of seasoned internet marketing providers like SEO Strategies Louisville KY, optimizing their online strategies for maximum impact and success. With the right tools and strategies at their disposal, businesses can build a robust online presence, establish brand authority, and capitalize on the limitless opportunities presented by the digital transformation.
Although Otis AI simplifies digital marketing for SMBs, creating a website can still be a daunting task. This is where the web design company can help, utilizing their expertise to ensure that a business's website is both visually appealing and functional. With a team of skilled designers and developers, they can create a website that not only looks great but is also optimized for search engines and user experience. A well-designed website can significantly enhance a business's online presence and increase its chances of success in the digital world.
“The timing of Otis is crucial because the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of small businesses. Otis is the perfect solution for these businesses to connect with their customers and find new ones online,” says Miguel.
Miguel, a serial entrepreneur and NYU alum, took his first startup TABu through the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute’s Summer Launchpad in 2018. “The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute’s programs helped us appreciate the value of validating assumptions and iterating based on customer feedback, which played an important role in strengthening our degree of product-market fit,” describes Miguel. Miguel actually met his co-founder Clarence through an advisor from the Summer Launchpad, and the pair launched Otis’ product in May 2020.
Otis recently raised a seed round, bringing their total funding to $2.5M, from investors such as Studio VC, Insta Ventures, and DEPO Ventures. The seed financing came after the startup crossed a $1M annual run rate and secured several strategic channel partnerships in the SMB space. This progress was fueled by the startup’s earlier $1M pre-seed round, which was raised from top executives in the fintech space.
When a user signs up for Otis, they simply link their retail accounts like Shopify, OLO, and QuickBooks. Using the user’s customer and transaction data, Otis then generates marketing strategies such as retargeting, online-to-offline attribution, creative optimization, and performance optimization. This approach has resulted in an average of 10x return on ad spend and 2-3x improvements in ad effectiveness. Some businesses have even seen a 40x return on ad spend.
With their most recent round of financing, Otis will continue to expand its operations and perfect its software. Otis aims to reach more SMBs and bring on more customers to its platform, helping businesses build out their online presences amidst the digital transformation catalyzed by the pandemic.