Tag: Twitter

Sparefoot Spearheads Back to School Supply Drive

Will Tweet or Facebook post for school supplies.
That’s the idea behind a social charity program spearheaded by Austin tech startup Sparefoot, which puts consumers in touch with storage facilities.
Sparefoot will donate $3 worth of basic school supplies for every Facebook share and Tweet about what memento they’ve stored since grade school. The donations will go to a school supply drive for Communities In Schools of Central Texas, a nonprofit focused on dropout-prevention.
“We launched this company while I was still in school myself,” Chuck Gordon, Sparefoot Founder and CEO, said in a news release. “Our goal with Supply Memories is to give other students a similar opportunity to succeed, no matter their circumstances.
To participate, visit Sparefoot on Facebook or visit Supply Memories to learn more about the Twitter program.

Mass Relevance closes on $3.3 million in venture financing

Mass Relevance announced Wednesday that it has closed a $3.3 million venture capital funding round.
Austin Ventures led the series A round and other investors included Battery Ventures, Floodgate Fund, Allegro Venture Patners and Metamorphic Ventures.
Mass Relevance plans to use the money to accelerate its growth. Sam Decker, the company’s founder and CEO, said the company planned to triple in size this year in an interview with Silicon Hills News late last year.
Mass Relevance has 120 clients that use its real-time social media curation platform. It also signed a deal with Twitter last November that officially made Mass Relevance Twitter’s first curation partner licensed to re-syndicate Twitter content.
“The financing comes as leading brands, ranging from Madonna and MTV through Target and Purina, turn to Mass Relevance to use real-time social content to drive engagement on television, web and mobile,” according to the company. Its clients include the “Big Four” television networks, 7 of the top 10 2011 cable networks, as well as top brands like Target, Cisco, Ford, Samsung, New York Giants, Pepsi, Purell and Victoria’s Secret.
“People around the world are actively participating in social conversations about brands, media and entertainment, and this content is passing us by faster than ever before,” Decker said in a news statement.
A year ago, Mass Relevance raised $2.2 million in a large seed stage round of funding from Austin Ventures, Floodgate and angel investors.

Mass Relevance plans to triple in growth in 2012

In the old days, people yelled at their TVs.
In the digital age, people can tweet their opinion to a television show.
And the show just might tweet back with a special offer or advertisement.
That’s the sweet spot of an Austin-based startup called Mass Relevance.
“It’s a growing trend to integrate social conversations into content streams and advertising,” said Sam Decker, the company’s founder and CEO.
Recently, Mass Relevance worked with Paramount Pictures for the release of Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol movie with a “Flock to unlock” social media campaign. People who shared content about the movie on Twitter or Facebook earned a reward. They got to watch a special clip of the movie in advance of its release. That kind of campaign can increase brand awareness while engaging an audience, Decker said.
Mass Relevance, which has 20 employees, now has 100 clients that use its real-time social media curation platform. It also signed a deal with Twitter in November that officially made Mass Relevance Twitter’s first curation partner licensed to re-syndicate Twitter content.
“We’ve been working with them over the years, working with them in parallel,” Decker said. “For us, it just formalized the relationship.”
In addition to publishing Twitter content, content publishers working with Mass Relevance can earn money from the content through sponsorships and advertising.
“Media companies are tied to creating and curating an audience,” Decker said. “Twitter can be part of their audience to drive advertising dollars.”
Mass Relevance’s platform allows content publishers to create new revenue streams around curated and integrated experiences on TV, web, mobile and large screen displays. Mass Relevance’s platform allows publishers to aggregate; filter and moderate content in real time and then broadcast it to an audience.
Mass Relevance’s clients include NBC Sports, NFL Football, Cisco, Samsung, and Pepsi and media companies like CNN, Boston Global, New York Times and Washington Post. Sports teams using the platform include the New York Giants, San Francisco Giants and the Boston Celtics.
President Obama even used Mass Relevance’s platform when he did his Twitter Town Hall last July. And television shows like NBC’s The Voice and Fox’s The X-Factor used Mass Relevance’s platform to get real-time feedback on air from the at home audience.
“The whole idea here is there are more and more people participating and creating real-time content,” Decker said.
But the advertising networks have not kept pace with new ways of delivering content, Decker said.
“This is just the first inning for media companies to create much more integrated social experiences for their audiences,” Decker said. “They haven’t maximized the potential of the platform yet.”
Working after hours in Austin coffee shops, developers Barry Cox, Brian Dainton and Eric Falcao started TweetRiver, a social media curation platform, in 2009, according to Mass Relevance’s “Our Story.” Then Decker, who had left his job as chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice, joined them. All of them became founders of what evolved to become Mass Relevance except Cox who remains a strategic advisor.
A year ago, Mass Relevance raised $2.2 million in a large seed stage round of funding from Austin Ventures, Floodgate and angel investors.
In 2012, Mass Relevance plans to seek another round of funding, but Decker declined to state the amount. The funds will go to expand Mass Relevance’s business.
“We’re looking to roughly triple in growth,” Decker said.
Mass Relevance plans to hire 20 to 30 people in 2012 including developers, sales people and client account managers.
“We’re nearing profitability and forecast to be so next year,” Decker said. “We’ve proven out the model and now it’s about scaling it and growing it much bigger.”

Innovation in Austin: Sam Decker from Springbox on Vimeo.

Austin-based Mass Relevance partners with Twitter

Twitter wants to harness the power of TV to encourage people to log on to the micro-blogging site.
To that end, it struck up a partnership with Austin-based Mass Relevance today. Mass Relevance created a content curation system for an estimated 250 million tweets each day.
For example, NBC’s The Voice used Mass Relevance’s platform to feature tweets about its show during its live broadcast. The ability to get real-time feedback from viewers during the show made it edgy, fresh and plugged in.
Mass Relevance also worked with E! Online during the Oscars to publish the best and most relevant tweets to a microsite the broadcaster created for the show.
The startup works with companies to curate Twitter streams about their brand, product or show and display the content on TV and other devices.
Sam Decker, CEO of Mass Relevance, left another Austin startup Bazaarvoice, to found the company in 2010.
Twitter published this blog post about the partnership saying it extends Twitter’s reach and fills the need from brands, publishers and TV networks looking to expand their content. Twitter also announced a partnership with Crimson Hexagon, which created a social media monitoring and analysis system for brands.

SXSW to feature a startup village

What do Foursquare, Twitter and Foodspotting have in common?
They launched or gained major traction at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin.
The SXSW conference has become a magnet for high-tech entrepreneurs looking to get attention for the next big thing. Last year, dozens of entrepreneurs climbed aboard startup buses to code and create companies on the way to the show.
The startup fever runs red hot at SXSW. And that may be why at the next show SXSW will host the SXSW Startup Village from March 9 through March 14. The event will feature “SXSW Accelerator, panels, meet ups, lounges, pitch events, and mentoring and coaching sessions,” according to SXSW.
“By bringing these individuals together under one umbrella we hope to create a heightened awareness of this unique community during SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music, as well as more opportunities to educate, collaborate and network with fellow attendees.”

And in case your startup needs a little insight into the venture capital process, check out this video.

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