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Hootsuite raises $60M, buys messaging platform Zeetl

The purchase of Zeetl is an acqui-hire, with Hootsuite acquiring the technology and team

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
September 25, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3952

There are two big pieces of news out from social media management company Hootsuite on Thursday.

First, the company announced that it has raised $60 million in new funding, in a round consisting of existing investors Accel PartnersInsight Venture Partners and OMERS Ventures, as well as technology lender Silicon Valley Bank.

The company has raised $190 million in funding, most recently raising $165 million in August of last year. This latest round brings Hootsuite’s total funding to date to $250 million, with previous investors including Fidelity InvestmentsHearst VenturesBlumberg CapitalMillennium Technology Value Partners and Geoff Entress.

"The goals of the investment are to ensure we are strongly positioned in all areas of our business," Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, told me.

"Hootsuite will use the additional financing to continue expanding its global reach, accelerate product growth and innovation, invest in additional sales and marketing resources, and pursue strategic acquisition opportunities."

I also asked how much the company is now worth following this latest funding round, but Holmes declined to answer, saying that, "We’re not disclosing valuation, but we believe the value placed on Hootsuite by investors is a good reflection of what we’ve built and where we’re going."

The second piece of news to come out on Thursday is that the company has now made its second acquisition in the last month, picking up social telephony company Zeetl. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The Vancouver- based Zeetl allows companies to connect with their social media followers through channels outside of the Facebook and Twitter networks, including phone calls.

For example, a company can use the service to connect with customers by posting a unique link on Twitter or Facebook in reply to a customer complaint. The link is publicly available, but accessible only to a specific customer through authentication. Once the link is opened, the customer is provided with dedicated local support phone number and SkypeID. This prevents the customer from following the company on Twitter and making their complaints public.

By acquiring Zeetl, Hootsuite says it is now planning on adding a new voice solution that will "better empower customer service teams around the world." The purchase seems to be an acqui-hire as Holmes says that, "Hootsuite acquired Zeetl for their cutting edge technology and brilliant team."

"We are excited to integrate their technology into or platform for the benefit of our customers. The acquisition provides momentum towards our focus on customer support solutions for the social era," he said. "Zeetl has accomplished a lot with a small team, and key personnel will be joining the Hootsuite team."

The acquisition of Zeetl follows Hootsuite's purchase of social marketing platform Brightkit earlier this month. That too was an acqui-hire for the company, with the main goal being to swallow up the technology and the team.

Hootsuite has now made nine acquisitions in the last few years. In addition to the two I already mentioned it also bought Swift App in 2010, as well as TwitterBar, TwapperKeeper, What the Trend, and Geotoko in 2011. The company picked up social media management system Seesmic for an undisclosed amount this past September, and, most recently bought social analytics tools uberVU in January. 

Founded in 2008, the Vancouver-based Hootsuite is a social media management system for businesses, allowing them to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from a single, web-based dashboard.

Businesses can launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audience, and distribute targeted messages. Its customers include PepsiCo, Virgin, Orange, Sony Music, Telus, HBO, WWF, UPS, Panasonic, and 237 of the Fortune 500 companies.

(Image source: zeetl.com)


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