Fresh Capital

With Its $9 M. Series A, Percolate Might Become the Next Buddy Media By Turning Brands Into Microbloggers

Mr. Gross.

Smart pivots can pay off handsomely. Earlier this week, Percolate, a fast-growing New York City-based startup that helps brands curate content, announced a sizable Series A led by GGV Capital, the same Silicon Valley VC firm that backed Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforcefor a eye-popping $698 million. Existing investors First Round Capital and Lerer Ventures also participated in Percolate’s latest round.

Roughly a year ago, Percolate shrewdly changed its focus from helping users find the most relevant top stories toward a (more profitable!) service that helps brands figure out the most compelling content to push out to their followers–a process that starts by helping them interest graph, something that comes more naturally to humans. Read More

Starship Enterprise

Why I Chose to Build My Enterprise Startup in New York City

Mr. Politis

This is a guest post from David Politis, the founder and CEO of BetterCloud, the makers of FlashPanel, an admin tool for Google Apps that has acquired 10,000 customers and 3 million users since launching this July. You can follow him on Twitter @DavePolitis.

New York City has long been the promised land for investment bankers, hedge funders, media moguls and advertising agencies. More recently, it has become a center of innovation for technology startups. There is no shortage of launches and funding announcements for consumer-facing tech startups and service providers for digital advertisers.

However, exceptions side, one thing is certain: New York City is not known as a home for startups developing for enterprise. Read More

Shakeups

Following New Details of Buddy Media Acquisition, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Lays off Employees [Updated]

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (Photo: Wikipedia)

After rumors began swirling on Twitter about layoffs at Salesforce, the cloud-computing company confirmed to Business Insider that it has laid off a fair chunk of its Radian6 employees. Salesforce says that less than 100 employees were impacted, but considering that Radian6 boasts only 320 employees total (according to Crunchbase), that’s still almost a third of the staffers being shown the door.

Radian6, a social media monitoring platform, is an integral part of Salesforce’s big play for a piece of the social marketing space. It acquired Radian6 back in March 2011 in order to build out the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Rather Disgruntled Edition

(Photo: Wordpress)

“Rather disgruntled” programmers, rejoice! Apple says it fixed that bug that was causing apps to crash on launch. [AllThingsD]

Jerry Seinfield now has a web series? [Daily Dot]

Facebook tab engagement has declined 53 percent since the introduction of Timeline. Perhaps that’s why Buddy Media was so eager to sell? [Mashable, h/t Nicholas Carlson]

Microsoft researcher: Oops, that whole thing about an Android botnet was just an “educated guess.” [The Verge]

The Singularity is nigh: For the first time ever, scientists have controlled a robot using only their thoughts. [Gizmodo]

Twitter engineer says that today search and discovery are “set to change forever.” Does that mean they’ll actually be good? [The Next Web]

Acquisitions

Salesforce Acquires Buddy Media for $689M in Cash and Equity

Mr. Lazerow (flickr.com/leweb3)

Salesforce has agreed to acquire New York-based social marketing company Buddy Media for $689 million in cash and equity. As we wrote last week, an acquisition made sense for Buddy following Facebook’s bungled IPO–though it’s worth acknowledging that deals like this take time, and machinations for the acquisition were probably in the works long before the IPO.

“I’m excited to announce that we’ve entered into an agreement to acquire Buddy Media,” Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s chairman and CEO, said on an investor call this morning. “It’s our largest acquisition to date at Salesforce.com. We’re expecting the deal to close in our third fiscal quarter.” Read More

Acquisitions

An Acquisition for Buddy Media Makes Sense—After FB’s Dive, It Can’t IPO

Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media (flickr.com/leweb3)

AllThingsD is reporting that social marketing company Buddy Media is in talks to be acquired by Salesforce for $800 million. We had been hearing similar rumors ourselves, and reached out to Buddy Media last week, but the company refused to confirm, saying only, “We’ve been hearing this kind of chatter since the day we started the company, and it has always turned out to be false.”

An acquisition for Buddy makes sense–Facebook’s bungled IPO (its stock dropped another 10 percent today) left little room for companies with offerings reliant upon Facebook to go public themselves. And judging from Buddy’s hiring of an “IPO-ready CFO” last August, an IPO was its preferred route. Read More

TMI

Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow Thinks You Should Sleep with Your Cofounder

The Lazerows (michaellazerow.com)

In a bizarre missive with a linkbaity headline, Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow declared “I Have Sex With My Co-Founder. And I Like It.” Okay, thanks for sharing?

Mr. Lazerow, whose business partner is his wife Kass, claims that many cofounder relationships resemble marriages, and therefore you should vet cofounders much the way you would a potential mate. So basically, don’t found a company with someone who is emotionally unavailable or unhealthily obsessed with his mother? Good to know. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Facebook Would Rather Brands Pay for Advertising Than Use Brand Pages

Buddy Media's CEO, Michael Lazerow (flickr.com/leweb3)

In the social marketing space, if you want to be successful, you have to become one of Facebook’s Preferred Developers. Without this corporate badge of honor, your company won’t have access to various Facebook insider perks, like tips on new features and API changes, and direct access to Facebook employees and training.

The PDC program has always been viewed as an olive branch extended to big companies–it’s essentially Facebook’s way of saying they value brands on the platform, so much so that they provide a list of “preferred” companies that can help optimize your brand’s Facebook presence.

But with the advent of Facebook’s new layout, Timeline, the company’s devotion to brands has grown increasingly murkier and rendered some of the most traditional offerings of social marketing companies–like scheduling posts and developing custom landing tabs–far less necessary. Read More

Faceworld

Big Brands Still Trying to Figure Out the Facebook

010611085517clipart_board_meeting

Ever wonder what your bank is thinking when it asks you to “like” your credit card on Facebook? Buddy Media’s Michael Lazerow is in the business of persuading brands that Facebook should get top priority when it comes to advertising efforts, and his presentation at the Le Web conference, now available on Facebook, explains why. What would seem to people who spend most of the day on the internet like spammy, ridiculous nonsense, actually looks earnest and smart in the context of a slide deck. One coupon for Pretzel Crisps was redeemed by 95 percent of the brand’s 100,000 fans; a call to “like this post if you’re a Disney Vacation Fan Club member” had a 19.62 percent “engagement rate.” Other examples showed “engagement rates” in the 5 to 6 percent range.  Read More

Selling Social

Buddy Media’s New Director of Product, Andrew Ferenci, Talks Social Media ROI

Can Buddy Media tame that mane?

Back in May, as it was on the brink of closing its first big round of funding, social commerce startup Spinback was acquired by Buddy Media, the 800 pound gorilla in the social marketing world. Since then, says Buddy Media CEO Mike Lazerow, Spinback has become tightly integrated into Buddy Media’s daily work, especially when it comes to showing big clients what they are getting from the campaigns they run. Betabeat chatted with Spinback founder and CEO Andrew Ferenci, who is now director of product developement at Buddy.

How are things going with the integration of Spinback into Buddy Media?

It’s going really well. Sometimes a product gets bought and the integration takes a long time. Or worse, the product never really gets integrated and then it gets killed off, like Google did with Dodgeball. We’re only three months in, but the product fit just seems right, and we’re getting close to the finish line for launching a brand new version of Spinback that will tie us into the larger mission here at Buddy.  Read More