Simply Measured Plans to Double Staff with $8M From Bessemer, Others

1/22/13Follow @bromano

Simply Measured, a Seattle startup that helps marketers analyze and report on their social media presence, achieved profitability in three years with an investment of only $900,000.

But Adam Schoenfeld, chief executive of the 40-person company, and his co-founders Aviel Ginzburg and Damon Cortesi, are raising the stakes with an $8 million Series B investment led by Bessemer Venture Partners. He sees an opportunity at the confluence of big data analytics, social media, and the consumerization of the enterprise for Simply Measured to build a big, lasting business in Seattle.

In 2013, the company plans to more than double its staff, requiring a move from its current office space on Capitol Hill, probably closer to the downtown core.

“We’re investing in the technology in a big way, so that means growing the engineering team, and then also starting to really move the needle on sales and marketing,” Schoenfeld says.

He declines to share sales data, but says the company has grown every month, adding that “we were running profitable previous to this raise. We’re definitely stepping on the gas now more and we’re going to go into the red a bit on purpose.”

Simply Measured makes SaaS-based tools that Schoenfeld says are easy to use for people in the broadening range of business functions—from marketing and communications to sales and customer support—that are and will be using social media as part of regular operations. These tools help people who aren’t necessarily data scientists distill something insightful from the ever-expanding torrent of social media information at their fingertips.

“The types of insights that we’re generating are really marketing-focused, so who are you engaging, how often are you engaging, what specific channels and programs are working, what content is working, what type of people are you reaching, and how do you better engage those people,” Schoenfeld says.

To this competitive and evolving endeavor, Simply Measured is bringing a new Website analytics offering.

“We just saw this great opportunity to take what’s happening in social and connect the dots to what’s happening on your Web site from a traffic and conversion perspective,” he says.

Like much of the online marketing and social media world, the company also has its eye on Facebook’s forthcoming Graph Search, which will likely require companies to do the same sort of measurement and optimization work they do now with Google, Schoenfeld says.

“It’s just another way for a consumer on Facebook—one of those billion people—to find a brand, or to buy something, or to interact with a business in some way,” he says, adding that it remains to be seen how useful Graph Search will be.

Adam Schoenfeld

Much depends on how Facebook will reveal data about brands’ Graph Search performance, and, of course, whether Facebook users use it.

As part of the financing, Bessemer partner Ethan Kurzweil will join the Simply Measured board. The company was founded under the name Untitled Startup and received $150,000 from Founder’s Co-op, and in 2011, $750,000 from MHS Capital and angel investors.

In a blog post announcing the latest investment, Schoenfeld emphasizes that the company is thinking big. “Monster truck rally big. NASDAQ big,” he writes.

Asked if that’s a hint at a possible IPO, Schoenfeld says: “We don’t know the specifics of what our outcome will look like, the point is we’re just thinking very long-term and very big about the company. We’re not after a quick flip.”

Benjamin Romano is editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email him at bromano [at] xconomy.com. Follow @bromano

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