Atlanta-based influencer engagement platform Sideqik has closed a $5 million Series A round led by Jackson Square Ventures with participation from Fuqua Capital, entrepreneur Tom Noonan, and existing investors Bee Partners and Bonfire Ventures. This round will take the company to about 80 employees, as they expand not only their Atlanta headquarters, but also in Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Europe.
This brings the six-year-old company’s total funding to $6.5 million. The SaaS platform was founded by Jeremy Haile, CEO, and Tree McGlown, CRO, to capitalize on the multi-billion-dollar field of digital influencer marketing.
More and more, marketing teams for major brands are seeking out social media influencers with huge followings on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and the like to promote their products. But along with increased ad spend, executives increasingly want to see the ROI of their dollars.
Sideqik not only helps marketers find, connect with, and manage relevant influencers, but also track and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. The platform uses artificial intelligence, fed by data from sixteen million online profiles and over two billion social posts, to provide brands with relevant trends and insights they can use to improve marketing efforts.
The startup has seen fast growth, with sales up 900 percent in the last two years. Clients include Coca-Cola, Home Depot, HTC, Under Armour, Procter & Gamble, and more.
“Marketers today are overwhelmed by the amount of data at their disposal,” Haile said in a statement. “The challenge is using that data to make decisions and improving how they engage with their customers and the influencers that speak to them. As consumer attention shifts more and more to mobile and social, it’s increasingly important that brands are able to engage with them there, and it’s our mission to provide an innovative platform that helps them do that in an intelligent, authentic, and measurable way.”
This year, the startup also plans to venture into predictive analytics, allowing brands to predict who the next top influencer might be or what social media trends in six months will look like.
Haile talked about getting into predictive features in a 2017 interview with Hypepotamus. “The big thing about this for brands is, instead of just going out and looking for someone because we like their feed or we like their message, is we’re actually looking at all this data first,” he said.