awe.sm Closes on $4M

San Francisco-based awe.sm has closed on $4 million in venture capital led by Foundry Group and GRP Partners. The company’s software is designed to allow developers to add social-media performance tracking to their websites and online applications.

PRESS RELEASE
awe.sm, the leading platform for companies to harness social data, today announced a $4 million financing round led by Foundry Group and GRP Partners.

awe.sm allows software developers to add social-media performance tracking to their websites and online applications with a level of granularity that doesn’t exist with any other cloud-based platform. It’s why their customer list includes Groupon, Playdom, LocalResponse, and hundreds more companies that track how social media drives their business goals.

“In a world where companies are mindlessly paying money for ‘Likes’ or ‘Followers’, we welcome the new era in which people will use awe.sm data to start spending their social media budgets on real metrics like customer conversions,” said Mark Suster, Partner, GRP Partners. “I believe the end of the hype phase of social media has begun.”

Using awe.sm’s tools, application developers can finally track which social media posts lead to pageviews, signups, purchases, and other business goals; and understand performance trends such as which users, social networks, or marketing campaigns had the most positive impact.

“Our customers today are businesses that use detailed performance metrics to focus on driving profitable customer acquisition and revenue growth rather than ‘vanity metrics’,” said Strauss.

awe.sm offers a set of application programming interfaces (“APIs”) that software developers use to add performance tracking to the social features of their websites and online applications. The awe.sm platform is subscription-based, with access starting as low as $15 per month for smaller developers.

“Social marketing is an enormous opportunity for innovation — it can be useful to nearly every business. But companies need tools focused on driving their specific business goals,” said Jonathan Strauss, awe.sm’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “With the awe.sm platform, our customers can offer specialized social marketing solutions to their clients, the way Topspin Media does for music artists, StockTwits does for investment relations professionals, and LocalResponse does for offline businesses.”

API documentation, sample applications and code, and detailed pricing information are available at http://developers.awe.sm.

Series A financing

awe.sm’s $4 million financing, led by new investor Foundry Group and existing investor GRP Partners, also includes existing investor Neu Venture Capital and new investor kbs+p Ventures — the investment arm of leading full-service advertising agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners. The funding enables awe.sm to expand its team to more rapidly develop additional platform features and introduce the awe.sm platform to more developers worldwide.

Foundry Group Managing Director Ryan McIntyre will join awe.sm’s Board of Directors. Foundry Group’s portfolio of investments also includes other technology infrastructure-as-a-service companies such as SendGrid, Gnip, and UrbanAirship.

“We are excited to back awe.sm because they’ve built a sophisticated ‘big data’ platform over the past 2 years that was already used and recommended to us by many of our portfolio companies,” said Ryan McIntyre. “Hearing about the value of awe.sm from Topspin Media, StockTwits, BigDoor, and others made it a compelling opportunity. Customer traction matters.”

Selected customers

StockTwits provides investors, public companies and market professionals with a platform to create, share and gather information across a distribution network that includes StockTwits.com, top social networks, and major financial media outlets, with a combined audience in the tens of millions. StockTwits uses awe.sm to measure how word spreads when publicly-traded companies report their earnings or other financial news and information. “With awe.sm we are able to measure the reach and engagement with those messages across our network,” said Chris Corriveau, Chief Technical Officer of StockTwits. “The whole integration with awe.sm was done in just a couple days.”

LocalResponse is the world’s first cross-platform “check-in” based ad network, helping marketers reach individuals in the most contextual, local medium. LocalResponse uses awe.sm to track the effectiveness of the messages their clients send to potential customers. “awe.sm filled a major hole in our infrastructure — we had it integrated in a matter of hours and it instantly made our platform way sexier,” said Michael Muse, LocalResponse’s co-founder and VP of Product & Operations. “awe.sm made it possible for our engineers to get back to building our core product.”

Topspin Media is the most complete technology platform for artists to create their own retail channels, effectively promote their music and connect directly with their fans. Topspin uses awe.sm to quantify the impact of fans who share artists’ music on Twitter and Facebook. “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of direct connections between artists and fans and the power of fans spreading the word about artists they love,” said Ian Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Topspin. “Using awe.sm, Topspin has been able to build unique data-driven tools to encourage and measure the use of social channels to help artists grow their audience and make money.”

About awe.sm
awe.sm is the leading platform for developers to harness the social data generated by their applications. The company was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Strauss and Laurie Voss, and is based in San Francisco, CA.

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