Klout confirms big Series C from Kleiner Perkins

Krystal Peak · January 4, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2332

Reports estimate the latest round near $30M, bringing the company valuation to $200M

The social media influence ranking company, Klout, is welcoming the new year with its Series C funding, according to the company's CEO late Tuesday.

CEO Joe Fernandez confirmed the rumors that were reaching a fever-pitch on Tuesday when he wrote in a blog that his company has received a round led by Kleiner Perkins but did not disclose the amount of the investment.

Also included in this round of funding was Institutional Venture Partners, Venrock, Greycroft, and ff Venture Capital.

Previous rounds of funding for the young start up have been $8.5 million and $1.5 million and reports by various sources close to the deal are putting this Series in the $30 million ballpark.

"We’ve already made significant investments in both engineering and infrastructure, and with this funding we’ll invest further in these areas so we can continue to provide the most accurate and transparent measurement of influence," Fernandez wrote in his blog Tuesday afternoon. "We’ll also help our community become better users of social media, expand Klout Perks so that all influencers are rewarded for their influence, and make it clear why it pays to have Klout."

Buzz has been floating around for months in regards to Klout's upcoming funding round and how the company will use the new funds to adapt its service to the rapidly growing mobile environment. 

Klout, founded in 2008, gained a lot of recognition and steam in 2011 for its marketing and social media service that offers perks and other freebies for people that have shown social influence in particular areas of interest.

Back in October, Klout was ruffling some feathers when it messed with the algorithm that determine how much Klout a person has (by looking at the number of interactions and follows that an entity has on FourSquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites.)

Some of the changes to the algorithm and the way a users sees their score are interesting because rather than just seeing your score and the top people you influence, you can now see what people are no longer engaged by your activity. Essentially, now I can obsess about what I did to make these profiles lose interest -- enter obsessive ex-girlfriend cliche of your choice.

Fernandez told me that he created this company to give people some feedback in an area where a lot of newcomers were putting in energy without knowing how effective they were being.

If the $30 million Series estimate is accurate, this would put the company's valuation in the $200 million ballpark and poise the company for greater growth in 2012.

While the company does not disclose its revenue or complete revenue model publicly, they do show some potential since they are able to provide brands and marketing campaigns a method of reaching the most influential people in different fields.

Companies such as Audi or Toyota, for example, could  reach out to people with Klout scores above 70 in the areas of cars and luxury to offer them test driving time with their latest models -- and essentially hope that they tweet, blog, Tumblr, etc. about their experience.

The next move expected by Klout is visable mobile strategy -- since it currently doesn't even have a mobile application -- and more opportunities than just the Klout Perks.






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