Crowdtap Raises $7 Million in Series A Financing, Led by Foundry Group, to Help Brands Leverage Their "Crowds" of Influential Consumers
NEW YORK, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Crowdtap, the network for Brand Influencer Communities, today announced that it has secured a total of $7 million in Series A Funding led by Foundry Group, with participation from GSA Venture Partners and Mr Youth, the leading social marketing agency that incubated Crowdtap and provided $3 million in seed funding. This brings Crowdtap's total financing to $10 million.
Crowdtap enables leading brands and agencies to easily tap their brand's "crowd" of influential consumers to help improve product development and advertising and to drive powerful word-of-mouth marketing. Crowdtap does this through access to its rapidly growing member base of more than 150,000 "Crowdtappers," and by enabling brands to recruit consumers from their existing Facebook, Twitter and CRM channels. Brands often struggle to mobilize and leverage these existing communities as well as locate new ones; Crowdtap provides the platform for brands to identify, centralize and activate its key consumers.
Crowdtap drives brand engagement with its members with a highly gamified experience, described by many members as "Farmville meets the Apprentice." By influencing a brand's marketing activity, members gain status amongst those brands and Crowdtap as a whole; earning perks, access to the latest products, and donations to the charity of their choice. Crowdtap's member base has skyrocketed since its formal launch at South By Southwest in March 2011, gaining over 100,000 members in the four months post launch. In this short time, Crowdtap has also managed to crack the top 1,500 sites in the US by Alexa rankings.
"We believe deep participation and collaboration with consumers is the future of marketing and the over 50 leading brands and many of the country's best agencies leveraging our platform have really validated our model," said Brandon Evans, Crowdtap's CEO and Founder. "Bringing on partners like Foundry and GSAVP with such deep experience in gaming, crowdsourcing and advertising technology really formed a perfect opportunity for us to grow our position as the leader in Brand Influencer Communities."
Since the launch of Crowdtap's beta platform in August 2010, Crowdtappers have completed more than 4.6 million brand actions in the form of polling, online panels, social sampling, and more. The large increase in Crowdtappers since March 2011 has also helped to advance the number of brand interactions, which have soared to nearly 400,000 actions per week.
"Crowdtap has achieved very impressive results in a short period of time," said Seth Levine, Managing Director at Foundry Group. "We see a huge growth potential in Crowdtap as it offers its first of its kind solution to marketers to truly engage influential consumers in a fully scalable and measureable way. Consumers clearly wield more power then ever and we think that building deep relationships with them will be critical to success for marketers in the coming decade. "
Crowdtap is currently working with leading brands across a variety of industries including Old Navy, AMEX, Pinkberry, MSN, Diageo and Bing. Crowdtap has also partnered with top PR, creative and digital agencies including Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners and Mullen. The $7 million cash infusion will be used to build out the current sales team, aggressively scale the engineering team and fill several other key operational and product positions.
Launched publicly in March 2011, Crowdtap is the network for Brand Influencer Communities. Crowdtap allows marketers to easily collaborate, mobilize and market with their targeted brand crowd of influential consumers. Crowdtap makes real-time research, collaboration and word-of-mouth marketing easy by enabling brands to easily launch actions to its member base of over 150,000 "Crowdtappers" as well as integrate their own existing communities from Facebook, Twitter and CRM databases. For members, Crowdtap is a marketing-themed social game that lets them gain VIP status, access exclusive content and earn perks and rewards for collaborating with brands.
About Foundry Group
Foundry Group is a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information technology, Internet, and software startups. In addition to providing the necessary venture capital to get a company up and running, Foundry Group is committed to leveraging their experience in starting and growing companies, expertise in the technology industry, and network of relationships to help great entrepreneurs turn great ideas into great companies. Foundry Group is based in Boulder, Colorado, and invests in companies located across the United States. For more information, visit www.foundrygroup.com.
About GSA Venture Partners
With over $100 million under management, GSA Venture Partners (formerly Greenhill SAVP) makes early stage venture investments in technology-enabled services and business information services companies. Prior fund manager investments include Medidata Solutions (MDSO), LivePerson (LPSN), OpenWave (OPWV), YellowJacket (acquired by the Intercontinental Exchange, ICE), UGO Networks (acquired by Hearst Corporation), and KnowledgeStorm (acquired by TechTarget, TTGT). For more information about GSA Venture Partners, please visit www.gsavp.com.