Kinetic Social’s premise is simple: make sense of the world’s social signals by providing clients with a platform that analyzes social context data to find the most effective marketing solutions across social media platforms and beyond – and that’s worth something. $18 million, in fact, to investors such as Blue Chip Venture Capital (BCVC), who led the round and who has deep ties with Proctor & Gamble. The latest raise brings the company’s total raised to $26 million, across its A and B rounds. CEO and founder Don Mathis tells us more, cutting right to the chase.
Tell us about your product.
Kinetic Social is a social data and marketing technology company. Our mission is to make sense of the world’s ‘social signal’. We analyze social context data, aggregated from a universe of digital sources, enabling breakaway insights and predictive modeling to yield the most effective full-funnel marketing solutions for our clients. Our patent-pending statistical optimization engine provides a unique and scalable approach to social marketing and cross-platform advertising effectiveness. Kinetic Social is a Facebook PMD and Twitter Marketing Platform Partner.
How is it different?
Kinetic Social provides the context for client campaigns, focusing our services and technology on clients’ campaign objectives through every step of the process, delivering custom reporting that conveys meaningful data analysis and actionable results.
We deploy proprietary psychographic and trend data in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our clients’ campaigns. No other peer competitor brings this kind of capability to the table.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
The social advertising market was valued at $4.7 billion in 2012 and is predicted to hit $11 billion by 2017, according to BIA/Kelsey.
What’s your business model?
We offer our services over a turn-key SaaS solution or via a managed service basis.
What was the funding process like?
We were able to work with our established partners, Blue Chip Venture Capital, to meet with a larger pool of investors than we could ever have connected with on our own. While the process was intense, it was also incredibly valuable in giving us real-time market feedback into our current product and where it should go.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Sleeping! But seriously, I think honing our story to an ‘elevator pitch’ that wasn’t filled with buzzwords was both a great challenge and an opportunity for us to crystallize what our business is about. Frankly it’s still a work in progress and one that will evolve with the business.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check? We’ve got a fantastic team of incredibly smart individuals who care passionately about the business and are personally invested in our success. Their dedication has allowed us to work on a tight budget to create robust tools that deliver results for our clients.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We continue to reap the rewards of the funding process and our relationship with our investors as we work through our first 100 days in the re-evaluation of our product and services. We will have a new iteration of our primary and SaaS platforms available soon, and we’re working together to develop improved workflow processes to accommodate our growth. Stay tuned for a new website that matches the dynamic nature of our business in coming months too.
What management advice would you give to a newly minted startup founder, in 140 characters or less?
Make sure you’ve got a great management team who can drive the business while you’re out with investors. Get comfortable with your pitch – you’ll be using it a lot! (Ed.: If you break it up into two tweets, it works.)
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Pursue the conversations, wherever they take you. Our primary VC partners are out of Cincinnati, but they brought in partners from the Greater New York area and across the US.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term? We’ve already started ramping up internally – growing from around 40 to over 60 employees in the past few months. The new members of our team will help us develop a new standard for the social media business that we’re excited to deliver to clients.