SaaS Veteran Matt Cooley Joins Emotive as President and COO
Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

SaaS Veteran Matt Cooley Joins Emotive as President and COO

It's not everyday that a venture capitalist joins the team of a company they've previously invested in, but the SMS marketing platform Emotive is taking that route and not looking back.

The L.A.-based company that allows ecommerce brands to text with their customers announced today that SaaS veteran and former investor Matt Cooley has been hired as the company's president and chief operating officer.

This comes about six months after the company's $50 million Series B round, which put the company at a valuation of $400 million. Cooley was also Emotive's first major investor back in 2019, since which he has acted as a go-to-market advisor to the company.

Matt Cooley is Emotive's new president and chief operating officer.

"It's almost like I've been interviewing for this job for two-and-a-half years now, which is fairly unique," said Cooley.

Emotive helps ecommerce brands such as underwear brand Parade and men's hair and skin care company Beardbrand have AI-fueled text conversations with their customers about their purchases. The conversations are designed to feel like a human-to-human interaction, even though they are largely operated by bots.

Since these conversations are two-way, it is distinct from the more familiar one-way text messages many companies send to customers on a regular basis to keep them engaged, notify them of deals and promos, etc. Emotive said their method creates more actual sales. The company boasts that of the customers reached via Emotive, about 8% to 10% make a purchase compared to 1% to 2% on one-way SMS messages.

When Cooley initially invested in Emotive, he said he was surprised this didn't already exist, as mobile phones take up so much space in our daily lives. Now that the pandemic has blown up ecommerce, he sees ecommerce and SMS as an even more perfect match.

Before joining Emotive, Cooley raked in a long record of work in the SaaS space, both as an executive for SaaS companies and as an investor. Software companies Cooley has worked for include New Relic, Mixpanel and, most recently, Skael.

Cooley also has a track record of successfully scaling companies; for example, New Relic scaled to $100 million in revenue while Cooley served on their initial leadership team, which led the company to an IPO in 2014. Emotive has seen 368% in year-over-year growth and currently predicts their annual revenue through subscriptions will go from $1 million to $100 million in the next five years.

"With the right execution, I think this company could be a $10 billion plus valuation in two to three years from now," said Cooley.

As president and COO, Cooley said that everything on the go-to-market side will be handled by him. This includes marketing, sales operations and customer success.

This is also Cooley's first time working with an L.A.-based startup, having primarily worked with San Francisco-based companies. He said that, while he is still unsure whether he will make the move down here, he is excited to be a part of the city's growing startup scene, even if it's from a distance

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Image by Candice Navi

In a year upended by crisis after crisis — the ongoing pandemic, the climate emergency, an insurrection in the capital — tech startup financing is not just bouncing back but altogether booming, and Los Angeles-based angel investors are a big part of that equation.

Angels usually take a stake in an emerging business using their own funds, before institutional investors are willing to throw more substantial resources behind an idea. Often, they start off as entrepreneurs or engineers themselves.

Read more Show less
Harri Weber

Do you know something we should know about L.A. tech or venture capital? Reach out securely via Signal: +1 917 434 4978.

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to

Launching a brand new business has its ups and downs, and Noura Sakkijha can tell you all about it.

In the early years of launching the fine jewelry brand Mejuri, Sakkijha hit burnout and learned some very difficult lessons that are now part of the story she brings to the latest episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast.

Read more Show less
Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.