Falcon Social Opens NY Office, Brings Danish Twist to Social Media Management

5/22/14Follow @jpruth

The Danes have landed in New York.

Last week Falcon Social opened up its U.S. office here, expanding from its Copenhagen headquarters. CEO and founder Ulrik Bo Larsen believes his company’s software gives enterprises a comprehensive way to manage and monitor social media that others do not. “It’s not enough to have a Radian6 [software] installation and listen to stuff,” he says. “You also need to engage.”

Falcon Social’s software-as-a-service is used by such brands as Condé Nast, Coca-Cola, Disney, and Pandora. Its software lets companies keep track of their interactions in the social media world, publish content such as blog posts, and gauge how a social media strategy is performing. Plenty of companies, especially in New York, offer similar services. However Larsen says they often cobble together their platforms from many different parts by acquiring other vendors to create what he calls “Franken-suites.”

He believes the unified offering from Falcon Social can quickly lure customers away from competitors—with some aggressive marketing. By his measure, much of the software for social media management that is on the market is hard to use or does not cover all the bases that companies need. “There are so many things still not being solved by the incumbents among big U.S. software companies,” he says.

That is where he believes Falcon Social can make headway.

A self-taught engineer, Larsen says he previously worked at Oracle and was a system architect for large-scale European dotcoms such as NetDoktor. The jobs included handling large amounts of user traffic, he says. In 2005, he created a Scandinavian social network a social network, now called 24.dk, which he later sold to JP/Politikens Hus, a Danish media company. Larsen also founded a digital agency called Mingler that produces data-driven social campaigns for other companies. Falcon Social emerged from his work at Mingler to address the needs of clients for social monitoring, publishing, and handling inbound content.

Founded in 2010, Falcon Social grew from four to more than 100 employees in 18 months, Larsen says. Building up the staff quickly, he says, gave the company a way to handle the broad geographic and cultural spread of its costumers. Last summer, Falcon Social raised $8 million (€6 million) in a Series A round led by Target Partners in Germany with Denmark’s NorthCap Partners participating. “That has been used to scale the organization further beyond Europe,” Larsen says. It is also helping him gear up to taken on rivals such as HootSuite, Adobe Social, and Oracle, he says.

During its first 12 months, Falcon Social had to fight to gain traction in the U.S., Larsen says, but the concentration of marketing dollars in New York was too much to pass up. “We needed to push the button and set up shop in New York City,” he says. The new office is largely focused on sales, Larsen says, and is not likely to conduct research and development for the foreseeable future. Yet Falcon Social seems intent on growing its presence in the city and Larsen also plans to spend more time stateside. “As we scale in the U.S., you will probably see more senior management being present on the ground there,” he says.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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