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Venture Capital News: Hearsay Social Sees $30M in Series C

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Leading enterprise social sales platform raised an additional $30 million in Series C funding led by existing investors, Sequoia Capital and NEA, bringing its total funding to $51 million.
Hearsay Social, a leading enterprise social sales platform, today announced strong year-over-year business growth and momentum driven across four key dimensions: new customer growth, strategic industry partnerships, international expansion, and pivotal leadership hires.

Founded in 2009, Hearsay Social has also raised an additional $30 million in Series C funding led by existing investors, Sequoia Capital and NEA, bringing its total funding to $51 million. Building on its leadership position and success within the insurance and financial industries, Hearsay Social will use the new funding to accelerate product development, customer success, and go-to-market efforts to better serve enterprise customers and continue global expansion.

'From day one, our mission has been to deliver success for sales organizations in the social media era,' said Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social. 'We are humbled by these recent milestones and, above all, thank our customers for their vision and partnership.'

With the new funding, Hearsay Social is announcing key milestones, including:

* New Customer Growth: Year to date, dozens of new enterprise customers have selected Hearsay Social to power their social sales efforts, including Raymond James, Mutual of Omaha, Bank of the West, Nationwide Insurance, Allianz Global Investors, Wunderlich Securities, Modern Woodmen of America, SWBC, RPM Mortgage, Mortgage Master, and two of the Canadian Chartered banks.With the addition of these new leading financial services customers, Hearsay Social has more than doubled its customer base in the past 12 months.

* Social Sales and ROI: Heads of Distribution now recognize the critical importance of social sales and rely on Hearsay Social for its expertise and technologies in this arena. In addition to helping clients manage their corporate brand presence and meet regulatory requirements, the Hearsay Social platform enables reps to grow and strengthen customer relationships. In a company study across Hearsay Social customers, over 64% of respondents reported that they both generated new leads and built stronger customer relationships to grow business using Hearsay Social.

* Enhanced Products: Building on the industry-leading product momentum announced earlier this year, Hearsay Social has added a variety of social sales, marketing, and compliance capabilities to its rich product suite. New capabilities include a mobile-optimized experience that includes social signals, deeper analytics to help measure ROI, streamlined compliance functionality for social profile review, and multi-hierarchy workflows to simplify review and administration.

* Expanded Leadership: Hearsay Social has added two key executives to continue scaling the company's growth. Gary Liu, who brings twenty years of experience in business strategy, marketing, and strategic alliances from senior positions at ServiceSource and Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle in 2005), will drive the company's marketing efforts as VP of Marketing. Additionally, Chris Andrew, who was the first employee at Hearsay Social in 2010 and has been a key player in developing the company's product, customer success, and sales teams, has been promoted to Managing Director of Europe to help accelerate the company's global growth.

* Global Expansion: Earlier this year, the company expanded beyond its North American operations in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Toronto to Europe, with the opening of its London office, and has signed its first set of European enterprise customers.

* Industry-Leading Partnerships: Last month, LIMRA, a worldwide association of leading insurance and financial services companies, announced an exclusive partnership with Hearsay Social to help its members better use social media to communicate with their field force and customers. As LIMRA's Elite Strategic Partner, Hearsay Social is the endorsed social media solution for LIMRA members to learn about and be successful on social media.

* Largest Enterprise Deployment & Scale: In a recent evaluation of 'Social Relationship Platform' vendors, Forrester Research identified Hearsay Social as the vendor with the largest enterprise deployment as measured by active user count (10,000), more than double the amount of active users in the industry's next largest deployment. (Source: The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013, Forrester Research, Inc., April 16, 2013.)

The new funding along with the latest series of new customer wins will enable Hearsay Social to expand its current business and accelerate its market leadership.

Comments on the news:

'Hearsay Social is an essential component of Thrivent's effort to equip our sales reps for the social and digital age,' said Knut Olson, Chief Distribution Officer at Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 company. 'Hearsay Social's enterprise technology is transforming our sales organization to ensure our relevancy and competitiveness for current and future generations of clients and employees.'

'The Hearsay Social platform makes it easy for advisors to use social media to maintain customer relationships and find new prospects, while meeting the complex compliance requirements of our industry,' said Robin Oegerle, Director of Marketing for Wunderlich Securities.

'More and more Fortune 500 companies are realizing the power of social sales to help reps deliver highly personalized service, improve rep productivity, and deepen customer relationships,' said Bryan Schreier, Sequoia Capital partner and Hearsay Social board member. 'We were eager to double down on our investment in Hearsay Social because it is uniquely positioned in the market to meet the sales, marketing, and compliance needs of the world's largest firms.'

'With billions of users broadcasting buying signals every day across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, Hearsay Social helps users 'hear' relevant, timely insights across their networks while enabling them to then engage and 'say' the right things to the right person at the right time,' said Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih. 'We are thrilled to see a growing number of CEOs and VPs of Sales recognize the value of enabling their field organizations to sell socially with Hearsay Social.'

'Hearsay Social can help marketers manage corporate social profiles, but it comes into its own as a tool for empowering salespeople on social sites. It offers sophisticated content sharing and seeding features, and its permissioning and oversight tools are among the best we evaluated,' Forrester Research wrote about Hearsay Social in its report The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013.

For more information, see these additional resources:

* Blog post
* White paper: Social Sales ROI
* eBook: The Social Era Demands Social Selling
* Thought Leadership Paper: The Future Of Social Selling
* LIMRA Elite Strategic Partnership Announcement

About Hearsay Social

Hearsay Social empowers global sales forces to efficiently and successfully use social media to attract prospects, retain customers, and grow business. The enterprise-ready solution enables sales representatives to quickly and easily move beyond yesterday's sales tactics and adopt today's leading social-selling techniques. The Hearsay Social platform boosts sales productivity and incorporates best practices while ensuring brand integrity and compliance for even the most regulated industries. Tens of thousands of salespeople worldwide use Hearsay Social every day to hear and respond to everything their customers and prospects are saying on top social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Hearsay Social is headquartered in Silicon Valley with dedicated local presences in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, Toronto and London.
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