Buddy Media Gets $54 Million in Funding; Will Expand Into Europe, More Social Networks
Social media is not exactly new to businesses, although a lot of organizations are still learning the ropes. Buddy Media (news, site), which offers management tools for networks such as Facebook, Twitter and other social apps, has made it big in the social media consulting scene, with a fresh round of financing to the tune of US$ 54 million.

Not Just Investors, But Business Builders

CEO Michael Lazerow stresses the timeliness of the funding, especially with the company's current growth rate. Buddy Media has signed on 200 new corporate clients in 2011 to date, and revenue has doubled since the end of 2010. Meanwhile, the company has expanded its operations, from 40 employees to 200.

We believe this financing is very powerful market validation of our strategy and team, sustained revenue growth, and large, growing market opportunity. The investors who competed to invest in Buddy Media are not just any investors. They are real business builders."

The Series D funding is led by GGV Capital, and raises Buddy Media's capitalization to US$ 90 million. With the deal, GGV partner Jeff Richards joins the corporate board of directors. Facebook ad sales exec Kevin Colleran also joins the board of advisors. Analysts peg Buddy Media's market value at about half a billion dollars.

Regional Expansion, Google+ Potential

Buddy Media has recently opened its European headquarters in London, bringing in former Comscore executive Luca Benini as Managing Director. Lazerow says the new money will be used to fuel expansion in Europe and to help beef up the staffing contingent to double the current numbers, mostly in regions outside of the US.

While Buddy Media is known for being buddies with Facebook, clients also benefit from enhanced reach through other networks, such as Twitter. And with Google promising company and brand page availability on its fledgling Google+ network, Buddy Media is likely to include Google+ expertise in its arsenal. Recall that Buddy Media just acquired Spinback last May for improved capacity in social media campaign tracking. Will $54 million in fresh financing be enough to boost Buddy Media's capacity for further expansion?