Defiance Ventures, the Charlotte-based venture builder, today announced its investment in Joi, an AI-driven bot that allows distributors in the direct selling industry to sell products on social media platforms. In addition to the initial investment, Defiance will become an advisor to Joi, and Tareq Amin, Chairman and Co-Founder of Defiance, will be serving on the board of Joi.
“Joi fits well into the Defiance portfolio,” said John Espey, CEO of Defiance. “Although consumer-facing, the Joi platform is truly B2B technology, equipping distributors for direct sales companies with an intelligent, forward-thinking tool to close transactions in a frictionless and measurable way. We’ve been impressed with Michael’s understanding of the direct sales market and identification of opportunity within the space.”
In 2021, the direct sales market is expected to reach $55 billion in the US alone, according to IBISWorld. These transactions can most naturally occur on social media platforms, which, until today, have left a gap in the transaction process.
Today, Joi connects Facebook with the inventory and payment systems of direct sales companies, allowing distributors to sell directly on Facebook. Buyers simply tap a “shop now” button and then the Joi bot messages them in Facebook Messenger to complete the payment – no more insecure checkouts, redirects, unwanted subscriptions, or discussions required.
Although focused on Facebook today, Joi plans to expand its platform to Facebook Live, Instagram, and other social media platforms in the near future.
“Partnering with Defiance Ventures perfectly positions Joi for rapid expansion through the direct sales industry,” said Michael Stevens, CEO of Joi. “Our development team has worked tirelessly building the bot and connecting Facebook with direct sales software, and this investment allows us to confidently move forward into the next phase of our efforts. Tareq and John offer a wealth of B2B knowledge and experience, and we’re excited to work closely with their incredibly talented team to make Joi a success.”
About Defiance Ventures
Defiance Ventures is a venture builder focused on B2B enterprise technology companies. It combines capital and early stage investment expertise with real world capabilities spanning marketing, branding, sales, application development, and cloud architecture to help its portfolio of technology companies to disrupt their respective industries. Visit https://defianceventures.com/
Joi is a sales bot that allows distributors in the direct sales industry to sell products on social media platforms. By eliminating friction in the payment process, Joi simplifies purchases and increases revenue for direct sales companies and distributors alike. Visit www.meetjoi.com to learn more.