Austin-based Spredfast, a social marketing platform, is accelerating its growth with a $50 million round of equity funding from Riverwood Capital, a Silicon Valley private equity firm. 

Spredfast develops software to enable and manage social media marketing campaigns, and “social is absolutely gaining momentum across the industry,” Chief Product Officer Manish Mehta told CMSWire.

Rapid Growth in Past 2 Years

Founded as Social Agency Inc. in 2008, the new round brings its total investment to date to $138.1 million. 

That total includes $24 million in debt financing in March 2015 and a $32.5 million Series D round in January 2014. Previous investors Austin Ventures, Interwest Partners, OpenView Venture Partners and Lead Edge Capital also participated in the new round.

Mehta said the company has grown rapidly in the last two years, fueled by its April 2014 merger with Austin software maker Mass Relevance — where he was formerly chief product officer — and its August 2015 buy of Madison, Wisc.-based Shoutlet, an enterprise social marketing platform. 

It has more than doubled its size to some 500 employees, expanded to the UK and has collectively managed more than 1 billion social connections in 84 countries, he said.

The company plans to use the latest investment to expand its offering of social media tools and grow its social care, brand marketing and media solutions. 

Spredfast Integrates With Other Platforms

Spredfast boasts that its open and connected platform connects with customer relationship management and other marketing and analytics platforms to help clients build a best-in-breed solution — which is in "huge contrast" to an all-in-one marketing cloud solution, Mehta said. 

“The marketing clouds are trying to do everything. We don’t think that’s the right strategy," he added. Users describe Salesforce Social Studio, Oracle Social Marketing and Adobe Social as competitors, along with companies like Spriklr, Hootsuite, Buddy Media and Sprout Social. 

Learning Opportunities

Spredfast gives clients like Airbnb, 3M, Patagonia, the NFL and Target the flexibility to integrate with their preferred technologies, build their own marketing stacks, and gain a full view of the customer journey across all digital touchpoints, he continued.

"We're focused on continuous innovation in the areas where we specialize, and, where we don’t, we’re connecting with other best-in-class tools," Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron said in a news release. 

Getting Smart With Social

Spredfast promotes what it calls smart social, a strategy that incorporates some of the data strengths it gained from the Shoutlet acquisition. Its platform supports analytics, campaign management and social media management to build a brand’s reach and influence and streamline content publishing, from the campaign and content marketing to the social media listening and data reporting.

Spredfast claims to power 80 percent of all social content seen on TV and counts media giants like NBC and Viacom among its clients. 

Spredfast partners with social giants like Facebook and Twitter, and Mehta says the company will “continue to leverage” those relationships. 

Mehta adds that Spredfast is not afraid to experiment, and is open to emerging trends like augmented and virtual reality/. While it's still early days for augmented and virtual reality, “many of our customers are starting to test, so we’ll experiment alongside them,” Mehta said.