Buddy Media, the WPP-backed Facebook management system, is taking on Europe and opening a headquarters in London. A $54 million raise (Series D funding) is fueling a seemingly indefatigable global expansion as the company continues to dominate the social media enterprise software space.
A new group of late-stage investors, including Insight Venture Partners, joined current Buddy Media investors GGV Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Bay Partners.
Buddy Media serves eight of the world’s top ten global advertisers including Nivea, Bacardi, All Saints, Vodafone and Mercedes Benz. In 2011, the company added 165-plus new customers, including Kraft Foods, Hanes, ESPN, Ford Motor Company and Virgin Mobile USA.
The European team will be led by Luca Benini, former VP/commercial director of comScore Europe, as managing director, along with Erinn Marzo, current VP international sales at Buddy Media, putting “a leadership team in place whose expertise is second to none,” said Michael Lazerow, Buddy Media founder and CEO in a release.
The strategic partnership last October with WPP brought a $5 million investment and integration with their suite of technology products for the holding company’s deep roster of clients. The latest investment comes on the heels of massive growth and expansion for Buddy Media. Recent milestones include:
- Acquired 200 new clients in 2011 to date, including Ford Motor Company, Hanes, ESPN, Hearst Corporation, and Virgin Mobile USA.
- More than doubled revenue since the end of 2010.
- Acquired social commerce and analytics leader Spinback for integrated roll out this month.
- Won the TechCrunch “Crunchie” Award for Best Enterprise application in January.
- CEO Lazerow was named New York Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in June. He joined the board of SavingStar, the national paperless grocery coupon service and the board of Savored, formerly Village Vines, that offers discounts at top-rated Zagat restaurants.
- Partnership with thirteen Hearst Magazine brands covered here, making them the first publisher to launch a scalable social platform on Facebook, and the largest publisher presence on the Buddy Media Platform.
“Social media is now embedded in every aspect of the customer journey — from ratings and reviews to ‘like’ buttons to tweets. The opportunity for interactive marketing has evolved from building individual social applications to using social media to enhance a wide variety of marketing channels,” wrote Sean Corcoran in the April 2011 Forrester report, “Embedding Social Media into the Marketing Mix.”
With Facebook at the epicenter of social networking, Lazerow is poised for next. "Buddy Media is at the center of the largest two-way communications revolution that the world has ever seen," he said.