Founded in 2008, the company recently disclosed that its user base has grown to more than 1.5 million and it became cash-flow positive just four months after launching its paid plans. HootSuite currently employs 48 people. The company previously raised $1.9 million from Blumberg Capital, Hearst Ventures, and Geoff Entress, bringing its total raised to $4.9 million.
As the social marketing rocketship takes off, HootSuite is one of those companies that’s up there in the cockpit. The company allows users, such as businesses and brands, to launch marketing campaigns via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, and more.
For those who have been following the social marketing trend, it’s fairly standard fare: scheduled posts and tweets across multiple networks, post management, detailed analytics, getting alerts on mentions of your brand or business, and more. HootSuite also offers a couple of extras, like Secure Profiles, which prevents team members from posting to the wrong high-profile account, and Ow.ly custom URLs.
What does set HootSuite apart is the fact that it was the first third-party client through which Twitter began testing its in-stream ads.
It also has a fair amount of high-profile users, including I Can Has Cheez Burger, The Onion, The Martha Stewart Show, Oxfam International, BET, The White House, The los Angeles Times, TED, and more.
While HootSuite was one of the early leaders in the social marketing boom, other companies have cropped up behind it, including Hearsay Social, which focuses on Facebook marketing campaigns for large corporate-social enterprises, and Roost, which recent overhauled its former real estate business to focus on social marketing campaigns for small, local businesses.
Earlier this year, HootSuite acquired TwitterBar, an add-on for the Firefox 4 browser, which it renamed HootBar. HootBar allows users to post to social profiles directly from their Web address bar.