Visible Technologies, a company that provides tools to monitor and influence social media exposure and engagement, will use part of $22 million in new funding to establish international operations, said a spokesman.
The Bellevue, WA company’s third round of funding was led by Investor Growth Capital (IGC), part of Investor AB, an investment holding company with activities in North America, Europe and Asia. Visible Technologies’ existing investors, including Centurion Holdings, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel and WPP, participated in the new funding.
Visible Technologies received from investors $3.5 million in 2005 and $12 million in 2007, said spokesman Blake Cahill. He said the new money will be largely spent on setting up shop in Europe as a way to better provide global management of its customers’ social media actions and brand reputation. “When we were looking for partners, from a new investor perspective, we were focused on an investor that had global experience and operated in multiple counties and places,” Cahill said.
Visible Technologies has been getting requests for international offices from its existing client base and even from prospects, according to Cahill. “We work with very large, global brands,” he said. “If they’re executing a program well in the U.S. market, they want to replicate that program abroad.” He said the company plans to open an office in the U.K. for starters.
Although he would not reveal revenue figures, Cahill said Visible Technologies has been expanding despite the slow economy. The business grew 60 percent from the third quarter of 2008 to the same period in 2009, he said. “It’s healthy growth and we continue to see increased demand from brands as they further integrate social into the lifeblood of their business models,” Cahill said. Asserting that social networks are the online places “where people are talking,” Cahill said companies dare not ignore them and need to know what is being said about them on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
Cahill said Visible Technologies’ ability to secure substantial new funding is evidence that social networking-related companies are in a good place. He noted Visible Technologies’ competitors are also seeing new investment, citing the $18 million in Series C funding secured earlier this month by Lithium Technologies and the $8.65 million in Series B funding secured this week by Reputation Defender.
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