It’s not every day a Brighton tech startup raises tens of millions of pounds to grow their business but that’s exactly what Brandwatch, a social media monitoring and analytics company, has done this week.
Brandwatch announced a $US33 million (£22 million) series C funding round today, bringing total investment in the company up to $US64 million (£42 million).
Former backers Highland Capital Partners and Nauta Capital were named as the leading investors in the round.
Brandwatch, which has offices in Brighton, New York and Singapore, said it was able to raise the latest round off the back of strong appetite from organisations for social analytics platforms.
Brandwatch’s platform allows companies to see what people are saying about certain brands or products on the internet. The company’s software scans social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as well as websites and forums, for certain buzzwords and phrases and then delivers insights back to analysts and executives.
Giles Palmer, founder and CEO of Brandwatch, told Business Insider that the new funding will help Brandwatch to employ more staff, improve its products, and expand into new markets.
He said he spoke to more than 20 investors over a four month period both in Europe and America, before waiting an additional two months for investors to do their due diligence.
At the end of the six-month period, he had three investment offers on the table and there “wasn’t much in them.”
Many of the American investors were interested in Brandwatch but chose not to invest because they didn’t have a UK office, he said.
The CEO admitted that Brandwatch is still a loss making company that’s in “growth mode” but said he expects this to change in the near future. The company employs 330 staff globally, with 67 in New York and nearly 200 in Brighton.
Brandwatch works with some huge brands including several of the world’s largest technology companies.
Samsung, Sony Music, Cisco Systems, The Guardian, Sky, Walmart, Pepsico, IKEA, L’oreal, and British Airways have all publicly stated that they are drawing insights from Brandwatch’s technology.
On Brighton, Palmer said there are some really creative people but they tend be more focused on small creative projects as opposed to going international.
“Everyone in Brighton is a hippy,” he said, probably half-joking.”We tell staff to leave their sandals at the door.”