Social media is officially eating Internet, and where the people go with their eyeballs, so do the brands. But the brands are – largely – all at sea, still trying to figure all this stuff out.
One of the startups that has figured this out is Brandwatch — a social media monitoring firm that crawls over 80 million sites, including Facebook and Twitter, and then turns that information into insights to businesses. Last year it raised $22 million in a B round of funding, it’s now completed a $33M Series C financing led by new investor Partech Ventures (based in Paris, Berlin and San Francisco), with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners Europe and Nauta Capital.
Founded in 2007 in Brighton, UK, with operations in New York and San Francisco, Brandwatch has consumer marketing DNA in its blood.
While other companies like DataSifts, Twitter-owned Gnip, HootSuite and Radian6 all snap at the social media firehose, Brandwatch seems to be tapping into a stronger love-affair with brand and marketers with what cofounder Giles Palmer has described as a “really deep product”. It helps that Brandwatch is part of Twitter’s certified partner program, which Datasift is no longer on.
It demonstrates the strong longing organizations have for a social analytics platform that gives them critical consumer and business insight.
As well as “doubling down” on the core product, Brandwatch will open more offices following the June 2015 launch in Singapore. The company also plans to invest heavily in strategic partnerships.
Brand watch says it has added new brands to its 1,200-strong roster of customers – including Samsung, Cisco Systems, and Sony Music – and it is now one of the largest VC-backed SaaS companies in Europe.
It’s also hired two new senior executives, naming David Jones as Chief Technology Officer and Amy Collins as Head of Product.
Omri Benayoun, General Partner at Partech Ventures, said “We decided to invest in Brandwatch because of its incredibly strong vision, technology and team. Social data is driving the future of every business function from marketing and sales to customer service.”
“This is another big milestone for us,” said Giles Palmer, Brandwatch CEO.
Speaking to TechCrunch he said: “The direction is more deep tech, bringing in more data and joining shit up at the back-end. It’s a massive challenge. Our customers are too big to be refused by the social platforms, but it’s a ‘win win’ for all sides. The problem with Datasift was that it wanted to be the middle man. The future here is partnerships between the brands and the platforms and we’re close to both sides. We are the Switzerland of social data.”
He said Brandwatch will be at 400 staff by the end of this year.