San Diego Startup Tracks Your Social IQ (Influence Quotient), Looks to Raise Capital

10/4/11Follow @bvbigelow

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games and competitions, based on the players’ Social IQ measurement, as a way to attract more users to the website. Users earned rewards, including discount coupons, promotions, and payments from their favorite brands, which also enabled them to rise through seven levels of influence, from “Newbie” to “Mogul.”

The keystone of the Soovox website was the Social IQ measurement, which relies on a patent-pending algorithm to calculate a user’s online influence by tracking three criteria—their reputation, connections, and knowledge authority. Like Klout, Traackr, and PeerIndex, SocialIQ provides a score that reflects the level of influence of millions of people.

Traackr serves as a particularly interesting comparison, in part because its business model is similar to Social IQ’s, and partly because Traackr, which was founded in Cambridge, MA, decided to move to the Bay Area. The reason, as Wade reported last year, was simply because it was easier for Traackr to raise venture capital in Silicon Valley than in Boston.

Are there too many competitors already in the market? Isarevich thinks there’s room for multiple companies measuring people’s social media influence. Yet Isarevich says measuring the social media IQ is really just a means to an end for the company, as it enables SocialIQ to help brand-name companies build social media marketing campaigns, and to disseminate their message among consumers who already like their brands.

“Our application not only allows brands to identify thought leaders and influential fans in their space, but also allows brands to engage and reward them,” Benmbarek says. “It gives them a lot of control of their online marketing efforts, and saves them a lot of time while they’re building their community of brand evangelists.”

He says SocialIQ already is working with consumer electronics, fashion, food and beverage, and other consumer brands that are looking to reach the key demographic segment of 18 to 39-year-olds. The company has five employees in San Diego and four software developers in Morocco, where Benmbarek was born. SocialIQ generates revenue by developing campaigns for consumer brands that help them identify their influential fans and engage them to amplify a product launch or whatever they want to do. The company also offers its Social IQ platform as a service to help brands on a continuous basis.

In the meantime, Benmbarek says, “We’re looking to raise our Series A to ramp up sales, and to expand and execute on our product roadmap.”

Of course, if the company finds venture firms balking at funding a company that’s 500 miles away from the capital of social media, SocialIQ’s roadmap might just lead straight to Silicon Valley.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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