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Venture Capital News: Speakr Secures $2.9M

LOS ANGELES, CA, Company that connects brands with social influencers to promote events, products and entertainment, has secured $2.9 million in seed funding.
BtwtMob, a company that connects brands with social influencers to promote events, products and entertainment, has secured $2.9 million in seed funding. The new funding brings the company's total financing to $3.8 million, combining with $930,000 of angel investment raised in December 2012. The oversubscribed round was led by Toba Capital and included Allegro Venture Partners; Brett Hurt, co-founder and former CEO of Bazaarvoice; Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast Spectacor; and Nick Gross, CEO of STRZ Enterprises, among others.

The company, which as of today rebrands as Speakr, will use the funds to extend its offerings to additional social networks. Currently, the company is active on Instagram, Twitter and Vine and is in beta with Snapchat. The new financing will also be used to develop additional predictive technologies and analytics tools that help brands better use social influencers for offline engagements, content creation and distribution.

'Social marketing and, in particular, social influence continues to be a rapidly growing market, as more and more brands realize the enormous value in consumers speaking to consumers in their own voice,' said Michael Coffman, Partner, Toba Capital. 'We invested in Speakr because they are not only a clear leader in the space, but also the company brands trust to communicate their message in a transparent way. Because of this we fully expect its rapid growth trajectory to continue.'

Since its inception, Speakr has executed more than 1,000 social influence campaigns for companies such as Microsoft, Kia, Corona, and Samsung as well as all of the major movie studios and several television networks. For each campaign, Speakr's technology filters through its network of the best social influencers - 20,000 of the top content creators on Twitter, Instagram and Vine - and presents them with the opportunity to post about brands in exchange for compensation. Speakr's technology monitors, delivers and optimizes campaigns in real time. Disclosure is paramount and all posts are marked as sponsored. Speakr campaigns generated more than three billion impressions last year.

'We've seen tremendous growth in this space over the past four years, and we're prepared to bring the same level of authenticity, transparency and measurable action that we brought to Twitter, Instagram and Vine to emerging platforms like Snapchat,' said Marco Hansell, CEO of Speakr. 'Our focus on developing strong technology matched with a human centered approach has helped us bridge the worlds of talent and media buying.'

The new funding builds upon a remarkable period of growth for Speakr, which generated millions in revenues last year. 2013 revenues were double 2012 revenues and Speakr's close rate on new business is over 40 percent. What's more, Speakr has inked deals with more than 60 diverse brands in the past 24 months.

About Speakr
Speakr, formerly known as twtMob, connects brands with social influencers on Twitter, Instagram and Vine to promote their events, products and entertainment. Based in Los Angeles and founded in 2010, Speakr works with more than 60 brands, including Microsoft, Kia, Corona and Samsung as well as all of the major movie studios and television networks. Speakr is funded by Toba Capital and Allegro Venture Partners as well as several well-known individual investors such as Aber Whitcomb, former Co-Founder of Myspace.
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