Community can come in all forms, but there might be one universal truth – measuring the concept of “community” is difficult.
That difficulty is something that Marissa Huggins and Anthony Nagendraraj knew very well during their time in the corporation world. Huggins built her career in the nonprofits and Nagendraraj worked across the consulting and IT space before they both saw the opportunity to rethink the engagement and data portion of community management.
The two co-founded the early-stage startup called Spontivly to do just that. While customer relationship management (CRM) is a common term for tech platforms, Spontivly considers itself a “community management system” designed to help organizations track engagement efforts in the digital and physical worlds.
Nagendraraj described the platform as the “Google analytics” for community engagement. That includes giving organizations true insight into 1:1 conversations, community churn rate, and overall ROI of different campaigns.
The concept of “community” is more entrenched in brand development and the overall customer experience today, Nagendraraj explained to Hypepotamus.
“For example, when you buy a bike from Peloton, you’re not just buying the bike, you’re being part of that community with the instructors and people. So now you see an evolution in the tech space. Companies are building brand loyalty and building a moat around ‘community.’”
Brands can now connect with consumers via email, social media, Slack, Discord, in-person events, and a myriad of other platforms, meaning that community managers are left to stitch together “community” metrics from a variety of platforms, the co-founders told Hypepotamus this week. Spontivly’s platform connects those together to help community managers and companies as a whole understand engagement and retention metrics.
Measuring community can have a big impact on a business’ bottom line. That might look like giving insights into how to turn TikTok followers into paying customers. And it could have an even larger impact on a business as we enter a more decentralized and Web3 era, Nagendraraj explained.
Founded in late 2019 as a university spinoff in Canada, Spontivly has been navigating the early-stage startup world as “community” had to take different forms over the course of the pandemic.
“[That] economic times is actually where we thrive,” Nagendraraj added. “When the pandemic happened, organizations had to shift online and they were doubling down and asking for analytics. They are pushing towards community as a differentiator.
Despite COVID-related shutdowns, Spontivly caught the attention of an impressive list of investors. Earlier this year the team landed its first seed round followed by a convertible note in August 2022.
Investors include TampaBay.Ventures, Rezilyent Capital, Mark Cuban and LOI Venture (with Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes).
The team has also secured a round (amount undisclosed) from Atlanta-based Apex Ventures and has brought on Atlanta Tech Village (ATV) on as a partner. ATV will soon be rolling out the platform at its startup hub in Buckhead.
The team is bullish on building a community-centric tech platform in the Southeast. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, the team will be opening offices in Atlanta and Miami over the coming months. The goal is to be a team of 65 people over the next three years.