New York-based social media software company Buddy Media has added $5 million in financing from advertising giant WPP. Buddy Media recently raised $23 million in Series C financing from investors including New York-based Greycroft Partners; Palo Alto, Calif.-based Bay Partners; Menlo Park, Calif.-based Institutional Venture Partners; and Softbank Capital.
WPP (WPPGY 58.19, +0.82, +1.42%) , the world’s largest communications services group, and Buddy Media, the Facebook management system of choice for seven of the world’s top 10 advertisers, today announced a strategic partnership to help the world’s largest brands more effectively scale their marketing efforts on Facebook.
WPP Digital is making a cash investment of $5 million into Buddy Media under the terms of the partnership. The goal of the partnership is to simplify and improve the process by which WPP clients that want to engage with audiences on Facebook can do so via the Buddy Media Platform.
“As Facebook has surpassed the ‘half-billion-users’ milestone, and is effectively the third largest country in the world, it is no longer a matter of ‘if’ brands should have a presence on Facebook, but ‘how’ they can be successful,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP Digital. “In the same way that brands have software for managing websites and search campaigns globally, it is also now appropriate that we have software that will help manage the fastest growing communication medium of all time, Facebook. We are pleased to be working with Buddy Media as our preferred partner to help clients manage their Facebook presences and capture the full benefits of the conversational marketing opportunity, at scale.”
“It’s clear that Facebook relationships work best when they’re an extension of an authentic relationship, which in the case of brands includes a wide range of communication channels and experiences,” said Michael Lazerow, Chairman and CEO Buddy Media. “We’re excited to be working with a company of the scope and caliber of WPP to help our many shared clients develop their Facebook presences as part of the wider marketing mix. As the world’s largest communications services group with over 140,000 people in 2,400 offices in 107 countries, WPP can be an important part of accelerating our business.”
WPP’s cash investment into Buddy Media is an add-on to the $23MM Series C the company recently announced, increasing the size of that round to $28 million.
Key elements of the partnership include:
Integration of the Buddy Media Platform with WPP’s suite of technology products and services so that brands can tie Facebook marketing efforts into their overall marketing programs. Open access to the Buddy Media Platform, the most powerful integrated software solution for Facebook, which allows brands and marketers to optimize their presence on Facebook for a global audience, while achieving significant cost savings by reducing the need for one-off, custom development projects. Training of WPP agencies on the Buddy Media Platform within the first year of the relationship, including comprehensive education on how to best use the Buddy Media Platform to enable clients to launch, maintain, scale and monitor their Facebook presence globally. Co-development of new products and social applications exclusively for WPP clients.
WPP is the world’s leading communications services group. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising; media investment management; consumer insight; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 140,000 people (including associates) in 2,400 offices in 107 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.
About Buddy Media
The Buddy Media Platform is the Facebook management system of choice for the world’s largest brands and agencies. With its scalable, secure architecture and straightforward administrative tools, the Buddy Media Platform revolutionizes the way brands connect with their current and future customers using the power of Facebook’s social connections. The Buddy Media Platform offers the only solution that allows brands to launch, maintain and measure their Facebook presence in any country and in any language. The Buddy Media Platform is the enterprise Facebook management system of choice for the largest brands in the world, including Procter & Gamble, Anheuser Busch, Starwood, Delta, Southwest Airlines, Samsung, L’Oreal, the National Hockey League and others. Based in New York, Buddy Media shares four investors with Facebook and was one of the first companies selected by Facebook as a preferred developer partner. The company is backed by Softbank Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, European Founders Fund, Greycroft Partners, Facebook investor Ron Conway, Facebook board member Peter