Percolate caught attention from Forrester analysts because of its "bold vision for how social and nonsocial marketing fit together." Now that same vision is also catching attention from venture capitalists — again.
Today, the start-up marketing technology firm is announcing that it has raised $40 million in Series C financing.
Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, with additional participation from four existing investors: Sequoia Capital, GGV Capital, First Round Capital and Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
This latest investment round brings Percolate’s total venture funding to $74.5 million.
One Complete Solution
Noah Brier, CEO and co-founder of the four-year-old company, told CMSWire the money would help transform Percolate into “the system of record for marketing” — an enterprise software platform for managing all marketing operations in one place.
Percolate boasts that its end-to-end suite of web-based and mobile tools "increases productivity, elevates your brand and helps you generate more sales."
Brier described the platform as a comprehensive solution that allows brands, agencies and other external partners to work within a single platform
"Our solution enables teams to plan, produce, publish, monitor and analyze their content across all channels — to effectively be the system of record for marketing. Our competitors are builders of point solutions," he said, adding:
A lot of other companies are really just focused on the edges, with solutions designed to deliver messages to consumers. There aren't a lot of companies focused on delivering information to marketers. In fact, we don’t think anyone else is focused on helping large global organizations manage their marketing."
A Market Leader
Forrester tends to agree. In its Wave for Social Relationship Platforms released last month, it Percolate, Spredfast and Sprinklr led the pack. Those three platforms not only beat four strong contenders — Shoutlet, Expion, Hootsuite and Falcon Social — but also trounced four of the best-known platforms in the market — Sprout Social, Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce.
Percolate thinks of itself as more than a social media management system.
Rather, Forrester noted, its goal is to let "clients centralize their operations across all marketing channels, streamline their workflows and governance, analyze their results, and optimize their marketing programs. "
Forrester analysts liked its workflow and content creation tools, and characterized its content recommendation engine as "the most sophisticated we’ve seen."
However, they also noted that Percolate has room for improvement, specifically because its tool monitors only
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, can’t analyze for sentiment, and, as of the time of the evaluation, couldn’t route posts automatically. Furthermore, "its global capabilities are underdeveloped for a vendor with such grand ambitions."
But Brier dismisses such criticisms as growing pains, noting that Percolate already has an impressive list of clients, including Unilever, General Electric and MasterCard.
"The big message we're trying to communicate is that marketing is getting more and more complex. Companies need a more systemic approach to managing it," he said.
Brier and James Gross launched Percolate in New York City in 2011. Today it also has offices in Austin, Chicago, London and San Francisco.
Brier said Percolate plans to use some of its new round of funding to significantly expand its presence in San Francisco, and grow the office from four people to more than 50 by the end of the year.
It also plans to address that Forrester complaint about its global footprint by expand its physical presence in global markets, perhaps by opening new offices in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The company, which currently has 104 employees, could grow to 300 worldwide this year, he said. Percolate will also explore strategic acquisitions to fuel additional expansion and product capabilities.
Will Kohler, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, noted in a press release that Percolate is systematizing marketing at global scale and helping brands meet the demands of 24/7, multi-channel communications. “Their platform understands the workflows that put marketers firmly in control of their future,” he noted.