Lithium reels in $53.4M to build social experiences

Engaging customers with brands is big business. Lithium investors double down on its social services

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
January 5, 2012
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Brands have recently woken-up to the trend of user interaction and generated content for the companies that they relate to.  One company, Lithium Technologies, is finding some strength in helping companies work together to create strong social customer experiences -- and now they will do so with $53.4 million more assistance.

The Emeryville, Calif.-company adds this latest Series D round of funding, announced Thursday, to the $45 million that it has already raised.

This round of funding is led by New Enterprise Associates and includes funds from SAP Ventures and several previous backers.

Lithium will use these new funding dollars to accelerate growth and solidify its strength in the cloud-based social customer experience market. Lithium has been interested in beefing-up its sales and marketing investments across new and existing geographies -- and will also use some of this round to pursue those options.

"Every brand recognizes that social engagement with customers across the Web is critical for business success and competitive advantage," said Peter Sonsini, a partner of New Enterprise Associates and new board member of Lithium, in a statement.  

This latest announcement comes a mere 100 days after Rob Tarkoff has been acting as CEO of the company. Tarkoff was previously an executive at Adobe, in charge of its digital enterprise solutions businesses. 

"Since joining the company, I’ve been entirely focused on making sure Lithium remains singularly focused on meeting our ultimate strategic goal: enabling brands to build innovative and engaging social experiences for their customers – whether that’s in communities or across the social Web," Tarkoff said in a statement.  

Recognizable names working with Lithium to curate the user experience with its brands includes BskyB, McDonalds, Nestle, Nissan, Best Buy, AT&T, Research In Motion Limited (RIM), Univision, and PayPal.

From social marketing to social commerce options and social customer support, Lithium is capitalizing on working from the loyal consumers to create better products and experiences for the brands in its catalog.

Competitors in this space include some big players including Jive Software and Get Satisfaction.

Last month, Jive Software made its public debut during the flurry of 11 tech IPOs. Jive Software, the social enterprise and collaboration software company, made its debut on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol JIVE, raising $160.8 million in fresh capital.

Jive opened at $16.50, a 27% jump from its IPO price of $12, which was also above an initially anticipated $8-$10 range. Volume in early trading was 13.4 million shares (significantly more than the expected 11.7 million).  As of Thursday morning, Jive was trading at $15.00.

As companies continue to find ways to leverage their social audience, we will see more companies with solutions and innovation in the area capitalizing in this vibrant industry.


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Jive Software
Description: Jive Software makes enterprise social software that reunites employees with each other and connects them with their customers and partner...
Lithium Technologies
Description: Your customers are everywhere. Lithium helps you find your social customers, understand their influence, and build lasting relationships....

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