PeerIndex, a London-based company that identifies the most authoritative and influential people on social platforms has been acquired by Brighton-based social media monitoring company Brandwatch, the latter company announced in a press release today.
Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sky News places its value at £10 million ($US15.7 million). TechCrunch reported the majority of the transaction comprised of shares in Brandwatch, combined with cash.
It is hoped this acquisition, along with further deals planned for next year, will bolster Brandwatch to be able to take on the big US marketing software companies like Salesforce.
PeerIndex was founded in 2009 by CEO Azeem Azhar and has raised $US3.8 million in funding to date, according to CrunchBase. The company has an index of more than 300 million Twitter profiles and works with brands to identify influencers on certain topics and the content that interests them. It has worked with clients including Ford, Diet Coke, and Samsung. Azhar and his team of 10 will join Brandwatch, and he will become a member of its senior management
Brandwatch has raised $US31.7 million in funding since it was founded seven years ago, having closed a series B round of funding worth $US22 million in May this year, according to CrunchBase. It has more than 1,000 customers and makes 50% of its revenues outside the UK.
Brandwatch’s CEO Giles Palmer told Sky News he expects to make “one or two more” acquisitions in 2015 as it builds toward an IPO in two year’s time.
He added: “This is two UK companies coming together to take on the big US companies. Salesforce has spent $US1bn (£636m) to create a suite of analytics software. We’ve built it from the ground up.”
In a press release announcing the deal, Brandwatch explained the thinking behind the PeerIndex acquisition:
Approaching social media from the perspective of content is fundamental to knowing what is going on. We have built a very large machine that is great at finding, analysing and categorising that content.
But one question Brandwatch struggles to answer is: why?
Why did this message spread so quickly? And equally important, if a company wanted to have a good chance at making it happen again how should the content marketing team go about it?
Adding the PeerIndex data and technology into the heart of Brandwatch will help to answer these questions. We’ll know that a message spread because a particular person talked about it. And her audience acted as a link to a different — identified — network of people within which it was shared quickly and then five people in one of those networks shared it and it jumped to another group and so on and so forth.
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