TrendKite is closing out 2017 with the announcement that it’s raised an additional $11 million in funding.
The Austin-based startup says it’s currently analyzing 4.2 million articles every day, and using that analysis to help both brands and agencies to measure the impact of their PR efforts. So it can identify the total audience reached by articles mentioning the company, or highlight which articles had the most impact on brand awareness.
TrendKite’s revenue has grown by more than 100 percent year-over-year, with customers including Mondeléz International, Nike and Delta. The company says the new funding will go towards additional product development, with the goal of making “PR software as indispensable to the CMO as CRM or marketing automation software.”
Touting the value of “earned media” (namely, getting attention via editorial content rather than advertising) might seem a little less convincing at a time when the President of the United States has repeatedly attacked mainstream media outlets, and there’s more concern that ever that everyone’s getting stuck inside their own filter bubbles.
Asked via email how TrendKite’s role will have to evolve in the current environment, CEO Erik Huddleston argued that the these broader changes have mostly been limited to politics: “A thoughtful review on the latest smart phone by a trusted thought leader is still much more powerful than a banner ad for the same phone or the marketing copy on the product page.”
And if that changes?
“If it does, my hunch is that the value of TrendKite and platforms like it only increases as identifying the right publications and journalists that have influence over your specific target market will become harder with increased ‘partisan’ media affiliation and understanding the resulting impact will likewise take on increased complexity,” Huddleston said.
This round brings TrendKite’s total funding to more than $46 million. It was led by Harmony Partners, a firm whose portfolio includes Chartbeat, mParticle and Postmates.
“TrendKite’s high growth and operational excellence, combined with the market opportunity in making earned media relevant to the C-suite, make this an obvious choice for Harmony Venture Partners,” said founder and managing partner Mark Lotke in a statement.
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