Buddy Media Announces $54M in Series D Funding From Leading Late-Stage Investors

Social Media Management Software Company Secures Growth Capital to Fuel Continued Rapid Expansion

New York, NY – August 15, 2011 – Buddy Media, the social media management software of choice for eight of the world’s top 10 global advertisers, today announced that it has raised $54 million in Series D funding from a group of leading late-stage investors.

The capital will be used to more than double its product, sales and support staff in the next year as well as fund additional global offices and acquisitions.

Current Buddy Media investors GGV Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Bay Partners, as well as new investor Insight Venture Partners participated in the round. GGV partner, Jeff Richards, led the round and has joined the Buddy Media Board of Directors.

The investors each bring a wealth of knowledge and proven success to Buddy Media. GGV’s portfolio includes household names such as Pandora, SuccessFactors and Alibaba Group. Institutional Venture Partners has funded 300 companies since its inception, including Twitter and Zynga in the social space. Insight Venture Partners, investing from their recently raised $1.5bn fund, has other social media investments in companies like 6waves LOLapps, Flipboard and Twitter. And Bay Partners has had over 250 successful exits (IPOs or $250M+ acquisitions) over 35 years and have been investing around open social graph APIs since 2007.

“Buddy Media is at the center of the largest two-way communications revolution that the world has ever seen,” said Michael Lazerow, CEO and Founder, Buddy Media. “Our new funding ensures we have the resources necessary to accelerate the growth of our large, fast-growing software business. I am truly ecstatic to be working with such an amazing group of investors, and believe it’s a testament to our success thus far.”

The latest investment comes on the heels of massive growth and expansion for Buddy Media, including the following milestones:

    The company has added close to 200 new customers in 2011, including some of the world’s most recognizable global brands, retailers and media companies such as Ford Motor Company, Hanes, ESPN, Hearst Corporation, and Virgin Mobile USA.

        The company’s revenue has more than doubled since the end of 2010.
        The company has maintained a net promoter score of 75 in 2011.
        Employee headcount has grown from 40 employees in 2009 to almost 200, with continued massive hiring plans for 2011 and beyond.
        The company acquired social commerce and analytics leader Spinback in May 2011 and plans to complete its integration and roll out this month.
        The company opened its European Headquarters in London last month and hired Luca Benini, a senior executive from Comscore, as Managing Director, Europe.
        The company won the TechCrunch “Crunchie” Award for Best Enterprise application in January 2011.
        CEO and Founder Michael Lazerow was named New York Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2011.
        The company recently hired Dennis Morgan as Chief Financial Officer. While at Yahoo!, Morgan led corporate finance efforts for more than $5 billion in acquisitions and business development deals .
        WPP, the world’s largest communications services group, announced a $5 million investment and global partnership with Buddy Media in October 2010.

      Buddy Media’s technology is web-based (SaaS) software that provides companies global scale, secure architecture and straightforward administrative tools to connect with their current and future customers using the power of social media.

      “Social media is now embedded in every aspect of the customer journey — from ratings and reviews to ‘like’ buttons to tweets. The opportunity for interactive marketing has evolved from building individual social applications to using social media to enhance a wide variety of marketing channels…” wrote Sean Corcoran in the April 2011 report by Forrester Research Inc., “Embedding Social Media Into The Marketing Mix.”

      With the exponential growth of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, Buddy Media’s new investors understand that the largest businesses in the world need powerful software to market globally.

      “Buddy Media has a proven management team, sustained revenue growth and a massive market opportunity. The company is the market leader in a category that sits at the intersection of social media and software-as-a-service (SaaS), two of the largest and fastest growing markets in the technology industry,” said GGV’s Jeff Richards. “We are very excited to continue to support the company’s rapid expansion in the US and globally. Buddy Media has more than proved itself in terms of building the best team and product in the business. The numbers speak for themselves and I can’t be more excited to work with the entire team.”

      “I have known the Buddy Media team for more than two years and have been very impressed with their ability to build innovative products that surpass those offered by others,” said Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight, who will be a Buddy Media board observer. “The company has a compelling vision to serve the social media needs of companies and I’ve witnessed first hand their ability to execute and achieve their goals.”

      In conjunction with the announcement, Buddy Media has also announced that Kevin Colleran has joined its board of advisors and Michael Kassan has been named special advisor to CEO Michael Lazerow. Colleran previously served as Facebook’s first advertising sales executive, and was the company’s longest tenured employee outside of founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Kassan is an internationally recognized business strategist, and currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Medialink, LLC, the leading advisory and business development firm.

      About Buddy Media
      The Buddy Media Platform is the social media management software of choice for eight of the world’s top ten global advertisers. With its scalable, secure architecture and straightforward administrative tools, it is the only solution that allows brands to launch, maintain and measure their social media presences in any country and in any language. Buddy Media was one of the first companies selected by Facebook as a preferred developer partner. The company is backed by WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), Softbank Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Bay Partners, GGV, Greycroft Partners, Facebook investor Ron Conway, Facebook board member Peter Thiel, Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus, Roger Ehrenberg, and others. For more information, visit https://www.buddymedia.com.

      About Insight Venture Partners
      Insight Venture Partners is a leading private equity and venture capital firm focused on the global software, internet and data services industries. Since 1995, Insight has provided flexible equity financing to support growth stage companies, and paired this with a team of experienced investors and operating executives to assist Company management teams achieve success. The company is headquartered in New York City. For more information visit www.insightpartners.com

      About GGV Capital
      GGV Capital (formerly Granite Global Ventures) is an expansion stage venture capital firm focused on the United States and China. GGV Capital manages more than $1 billion from its offices in Silicon Valley, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore. The firm invests across a range of sectors in information technology, services and healthcare, as well as the consumer growth sector in China.

      Ten of GGV’s portfolio companies have completed initial public offerings (IPO’s) in since the beginning of 2010 across five different exchanges (NASDAQ, NYSE, HKSE, Shenzhen and Shanghai).

      Representative investments include 21Vianet (NASDAQ: VNET), Alibaba Group, AAC Acoustic (2018.HK), AthenaHealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), China Talent Group, Duowan/YY, hiSoft (NASDAQ: HSFT), Meihua Group (SHSE: 600873.SS), Pandora (NYSE: P), QuinStreet (NASDAQ: QNST), SuccessFactors (NASDAQ: SFSF) and Tudou. For more information, visit www.ggvc.com.

      About Institutional Venture Partners (IVP)
      With $3 billion of committed capital, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) is one of the premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firms in the United States. The partnership is currently investing IVP XIII, a $750 million later-stage fund focused on investments in rapidly growing media and technology companies. Founded in 1980, IVP has invested in over 300 companies, 88 of which have gone public. IVP has a 30 year IRR of 43.2% and is one of the top performing firms in the industry. IVP specializes in venture growth investments, industry rollups, founder liquidity transactions and select public market investments. Since its inception, IVP investments include such notable companies as ArcSight (HPQ), Aspect Communications, ComScore (SCOR), Concur Technologies (CNQR), Danger (MSFT), Digital River (DRIV), HomeAway (AWAY), Juniper Networks (JNPR), Kayak, LegalZoom, LivingSocial, MySQL (ORCL), Netflix (NFLX), Polycom (PLCM), Seagate (STX), Synchronoss (SNCR), Tivo (TIVO), Twitter and Zynga. For more information, visit https://www.ivp.com or follow IVP on Twitter at @ivp.

      About Bay Partners
      Bay Partners is a 35-year-old venture firm based in Palo Alto, California, with over 250 successful exits (IPOs or $250M+ acquisitions) currently investing out of its 11th fund, led by General Partners Salil Deshpande, Stu Phillips, and Neal Dempsey. In 2007 Salil publicized his thesis that Facebook’s opening up APIs to its social graph would force other social graphs to do the same, which would allow creation of large businesses around these platforms. Buddy Media is among several companies that Bay Partners seeded in 2007, and Salil is a board observer. Bay was the first institutional investor in Buddy Media, and has participated in every financing round. Over four years Salil has invested $60M in 20 companies across two themes: Theme (1), open source and software infrastructure, where investments include SpringSource (open source; acquired by VMware), Dynatrace (application performance management; acquired by Compuware), and Engine Yard (open source; cloud); and Theme (2) infrastructure and platforms around social graphs, where investments include Lending Club (peer to peer lending), Jambool (virtual currency; acquired by Google), and Buddy Media. For more information, visit https://baypartners.com