New-York based CrowdTwist announced Monday that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by SoftBank Capital, an early-stage VC firm, and Fairhaven Capital, an investor firm in North American technologies, along with participation from kbs+p Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) and several individual investors.
In a nutshell, CrowdTwist rewards clients for dropping brand names in social messages.
The company gives brands the ability to eavesdrop and keep track of all online interactions and reward the most active fans across online, social and mobile channels just for mentioning the brand in their social messages, posts and comments.
Its technology connects to brands' websites, Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and not only keeps track of all fans and brand interactions but provides brands hard-to-come by metrics and social ROI. It makes it possible to determine the most loyal social promoters, interactors and customers and tailor additional campaigns around mentions and results.
“The funding gives us validation that we are doing is much needed," Irving Fain, CEO and co-founder of CrowdTwist, said to me this morning. "With this round of financing, we are looking forward to secure our existing services and develop new ones in the upcoming weeks and months and have further secured our name with big brands. We already have existing partnerships with LiveNation and JCPenney, and starting next X-Factor."
Does it work?
CrowdTwist began working with TheFanHub.com an online fan community that helps sports fans document, share and debate great sports moments,earlier this year. Site engagement was boosted dramatically with a 450% lift in pageviews per visit and an increase of 1,900% in average time on site.
How does it work?
FanHub integrates the white-label CrowdTwist platform into their existing site. This then allows FanHub to connect all the different platforms where their brand lives. For example, this platform includes their website, email, Facebook, Twitter, as well as other platforms. FanHub customers that opt-in to connect their social accounts then earn points for interacting with the FanHub across these platforms -- examples include sharing content, contributing content, sharing within their social streams, etc. As FanHub users accumulate points, they earn any type of real-world rewards that the FanHub chooses. These rewards include experiences, access, status or more traditional items, such as discounts or free goods.
What's coming up - X-Factor
Ever heard of the X-factor? Not that one. Simon Cowell's X-Factor. CrowdTwist told me that, starting next week, it will power the loyalty program and the loyal branding tied to Simon Cowell X-Factor‘s latest talent show competition debuting Wednesday, September 21 on FOX.
“We are very excited to be tied to that loyalty brand and to have been chosen to lead the loyalty program of a TV show with such critical mass appeal," said Fain. "For us, it doesn't get much bigger than that.”
Before the end of the year, CrowdTwist will launch a new program that includes all points of sales online and off, even tying sources leading to a point of sales to brand loyal programs.
CrowdTwist, founded in 2009 by Irving Fain, Josh Bowen and Mike Montero, hopes to address the need of brands struggling with social engagement and make it worthwhile for customers "to evangelize their favorite brands."