Percolate gets $9M for social media brand building

Social scale technology company helps Fortune 500 brands create content

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 14, 2012
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2bc0

Social scale technology company Percolate has raised $9 million in Series A funding, it was announced Wednesday.

The round was led by led by GGV Capital, with participation from existing investors First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures and others. Percolate had received $1.5 million in seed funding last December, from SV Angel, Transmedia Capital and Advancit as well as angels Dave Morin, Rick Webb, Paul Woolmington, Nick Gross, Josh Spear and Jerry Neumann. This latest round brings its total funding to $10.5 million.

The company, which offers services to help brands create content on social media websites like Facebook to help them reach a wider audience, says that it will use the money to “ further develop its product and business teams and expand its technology.”

In an interview with VatorNews, Percolate co-founder, Noah Brier said that Percolate will refining the features of its product, including analytics and image licensing. The company will also be using the money to hire nine new people in its business and product departments.

When it comes to expanding technology, Brier said that Percolate will be expanding its partnerships with platforms. For example, Tumblr, who announced Tuesday that it would be launching a page that spotlighted a preferred group of agencies, including Percolate.

“Content is the lifeblood of social and we have a very strong roadmap on where we want to go with our technology, but we'll also expand our partnerships with platforms like the Tumblr which was announced yesterday and others,” Brier said. 

The company also announcd that Jeff Richards, partner at GGV Capital, will joining the board of directors at Percolate.

“Social media has become a top priority for the world’s largest brands, and in the past year many of these brands have chosen Percolate’s SaaS platform for content creation on a global basis,” Richards said in a statement.  “Noah and James have an incredible vision for where the social media market is headed, and we are thrilled to partner with First Round Capital to help fuel the company’s expansion.”

What does Percolate do?

New York City-based Percolate is a technology company that helps Fortune 500 brands create content at social scale. The company assists them with updating their marketing efforts beyond traditional advertising and media, and helps them to engage their customers across social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

For example, Percolate powers the content behind Reuters' Counterparties.com, which is a curated snapshot of the best finance news and commentary, which Reuters uses to promote its own content. Percolate is also behind IBM's Social Business Tumblr, to name a few.

Percolate's algorithm recommends content to the brand's community managers or editors to promote, and they are allowed to provide additional context for how that story relates to what that brand stands for. For Reuters, it publishes additional context around trending economic stories and for IBM, it's how businesses can be more innovative and social.   

“Social scale is about recognizing that brands are moving from a world of 21-week production schedules for a television commercial that will run for 3 months to a tweet every 21 minutes. Percolate inspires and suggests brands create timely and relevant content on social platforms to keep brands' audiences more engaged,” Brier said.

The biggest challenge these brands struggle with on social platforms, says Brier, is knowing what to talk about.

“We inspire and suggest brands to create timely and relevant content on social platforms and are targeting Fortune 500 companies where we believe inspiring those companies is a very big business.”

The company, which was founded in January 2011 by former Federated Media and The Barbarian Group executives Brier and James Gross, currently works with more than 30 of the Fortune 500 companies including American Express, IBM, GE and Diageo.

The philosophy of Percolate is to be “a thoughtful technology company building a new type of technology platform,” say Brier.

“Without interesting, fresh content there is no reason for brands’ audiences to spend the huge amounts of time they do everyday on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.”

The company charges a monthly license fee of $10,000 and has been profitable for most of this year.

(Image source: http://percolate.com/)

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