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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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TrendKite Closes $3.2M Series A Round, Brings ROI to PR

TrendKite, the company bringing ROI to PR and marketing, has announced $3.2M in Series A funding, led by Mercury Fund and Silverton Partners. This second round of funding comes on the heels of a $1.2M seed round last fall, bringing TrendKite’s total funding to-date to $4.4M. TrendKite plans to use the funds to aggressively hire world-class talent, further invest in the company’s big-data processing infrastructure and expand the sales team to service growing demand for the TrendKite platform.

TrendKite is also announcing an enhanced feature set for its cloud-based platform and the hiring of new CEO Erik Huddleston, the former EVP Product and CTO of the social performance software company, Dachis Group.

“This round of funding will allow TrendKite to bring a radically different approach to media monitoring, measurement, and reporting,” said CEO Erik Huddleston. “I joined TrendKite because I saw the opportunity to apply big data analytics to an industry where innovation no longer occurred and the incumbents no longer make meaningful investments in the space. I couldn’t think of better partners to help capitalize on that opportunity than Mercury Fund and Silverton Partners.”

Using Big Data Analytics to Make PR Transparent

TrendKite quantifies the impact of PR for brands and their agencies. Using big data analytics, TrendKite learns about a company, its leadership, products, competitors, and industry—then pinpoints the highest-value digital earned media. PR professionals use beautiful, automated reports to illustrate traction, while clients gain full transparency into the ROI of their PR efforts.

The Series A round led by Mercury Fund and Silverton brings deep experience in big data analytics and marketing technology. Mercury has funded big data analytics companies including Infochimps (acquired by CSC) and both Mercury and Silverton funded BlackLocus (acquired by The Home Depot). Seed-round TrendKite angel investors included DreamIt Ventures, GameFly founder Sean Spector, Inovalon founder Ray Walheim, BlackLocus founder Rodrigo Carvalho and OtherInbox founder Josh Baer.

“Although we were always impressed by TrendKite’s vision to automate media monitoring and its strategic role within marketing, the latest version of TrendKite’s cloud-based platform blew us away,” said Mercury Fund Managing Director Blair Garrou. “Adding Erik Huddleston to an already impressive group of industry experts will only accelerate the adoption of the platform by major brands. We couldn’t be more excited about joining the TrendKite team right now.” Mercury Fund’s Blair Garrou will be joining the board of directors, with Mercury Fund’s Aziz Gilani observing.

The New Era of Marketing and PR Automation

CEO Erik Huddleston joins TrendKite founders and Meltwater veterans AJ Bruno and Matt Allison at a time when the marketing technology industry is consolidating. As paid, owned and earned media continues to converge, traditional bottom-of-funnel marketing automation solutions continue to overlook the needs of modern marketers to manage and optimize earned media. With enterprise customers BP, Campbell’s Soup, H&R Block and agency customers including Added Value (WPP), TrendKite is already garnering strong industry traction by quantifying earned media disciplines such as PR, influencer marketing and analyst relations. TrendKite is well-positioned as a complete, top-of-funnel solution for PR in the cloud era.

About TrendKite

TrendKite quantifies the impact of PR for brands and their agencies. By applying the power of big data analytics, TrendKite dramatically improves the real-time detection of brand relevant news, quantifies how it impacts the brand, their competitors, and the industry, and enables beautiful reporting with a single click. To learn more, visit www.TrendKite.com.

About Mercury Fund

Mercury Fund is a seed and early-stage venture capital firm that invests in compelling and novel software and science-based startup opportunities. With over $225 million under management, Mercury partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs to build globally competitive businesses, focusing on technology innovation originating in the U.S. Midcontinent. Since inception in 2005, Mercury Fund has become one of the most active venture firms in the middle of the U.S., becoming a “go-to” fund for entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of idea generation, company formation, and market execution.

About Silverton Partners

Silverton Partners is an early stage venture capital firm based in Austin, Texas. Silverton collaborates with exceptional entrepreneurs who are committed to attacking growth markets with cutting-edge products or services. The principals of Silverton Partners have over five decades of venture experience in enterprise software, having been the start-up investors in Tivoli Systems (IPO), Motive Communications (IPO), Convio (IPO), Waveset (acquired by Sun Microsystems) and BlackLocus (acquired by The Home Depot).

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