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There are a slew of social media management platforms looking to raise money
As you already know, HootSuite has raised a pretty whopping $165 million in Series B funding, the largest deal ever in Canadian venture capital history for a software company.
So, whenever a company raises a big round like this happens, I always want to know: what other companies out there could be affected? Its always interesting to see who else is out there, and who some of the other companies are that might get funding as well.
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 use the service to launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audience, and distribute targeted messages.
Given the proliferation of social media over the last decade, its not surprising a space that is ripe with competitors. What is a little surprising is how little funding some of them have raised.
Some of HootSuite's competitors include:
- Engagor, a Belgian company that was founded in 2011. Engagor doesn't seem to have raised any money, but it does have some very big name clients, like McDonalds, Red Bull, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Volvo, T Mobile, Ikea and Microsoft. The company says that it is engaging over 117 million users on social media right now.
- Pluggio, which was started in 2009. This is another competitor that hasn't raised any money; the company was bootstrapped until 2011, when it joined forces with Company 52, a product-focused web development agency, to redesign and relaunch. Unlike HootSuite, individuals can use Pluggio to organize and keep track of multiple accounts, get more followers, and automate the finding and publishing of targeted content. Plus, it's free.
- Spredfast, founded in 2008, the company has raised over $31 million, including $18 million from OpenView Venture Partners Austin Ventures and InterWest Partners in February. Partners include Aramark, AARP, Intuit, Warner Brothers and Whole Foods.
- Sprout Social, which raised $10 million in Series B venture funding led from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in 2011. Some brands that use Sprout Social include Yahoo, McDonalds, Pepsi, Yammer, Nokia, and President Obama's 2012 campaign.
- Engage121, a social CRM software product that is used by companies, franchises, and small businesses for social marketing, public relations, customer service, and franchise management. The company has not raised any money but its customers include Ben and Jerry's, Vitamin Shoppe, and Philips.
- Extole, a company that allows brands to offer rewards to customers in return for them referring said brand to their friends. Extole’s total funding raised to date to $29.6 million, including $7.6 million from Shasta Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Trident Capital in January.
- Lithium Technologies, which helps its users find social customers, understand their influence, and build lasting relationships. The company, which was founded in 2001, has raised $92.4 million, most recently taking in $53.4 million in January of 2012. Customers include AT&T, Skype, Autodesk, Home Depot, Verizon, Best Buy and Time Warner Cable.
- Mass Relevance, which is a is a Certified Twitter Partner. The company helps brands, media and agencies get more from their social media efforts by building social experiences into their marketing strategy. It has raised $5.5 million.
- Shoutlet, which provides a centralized platform that helps companies manage and monetize their social media communication. Founded in 2010, the company has raised $24.2 million and has over 600 customers, including Starz, Canon, Crocs. Fox Sports, Wrangler, Guess, Office Depot, and Nascar.
- Syncapse provides tools and strategic services that help marketers to manage their brand’s consumer engagement and performance across social media channels. The company, which is is a member of Facebook’s Preferred Developer Consultant program, has raised $28.3 in funding.
- ViTrue is a cloud-based social marketing solution that has raised $33 million, including $17 million in Series C financing round led by Scale Venture Partners, Advent Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Comcast Interactive, and Dace Ventures in February 2011. The company was bought by Oracle for $300 million in May of 2012.
- Socialbakers offers a social media analytics platform. Its current products include Socially Devoted, a service that measures the quality of customer service in social media channels. The company has raised $8 million, most recently $6 million in a Series B funding, from Index Ventures, and Earlybird Venture Capital.
But when it comes to HootSuite's competitor, there is probably only one other company that it truly has to worry about: Salesforce, which has purchased two big social media marketing companies in the last two years.
Salesforce has over 100,000 customers, including GE, NBCUniversal, Chipotle, Wells Fargo, Facebook, Virgin America, Blue Shield of California, and the cities of San Francisco and Boston.
(Image source: https://www.sonoma.edu)
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