Social marketing startup Little Bird nabs $1.7M in new funding
Marshall Kirkpatrick's Little Bird has secured new financing amounting to $1.7 million, TechCrunch reported. Oregon Angel Fund led the round which brings Little Bird's total funding raised to $2.7 million so far. As part of the deal, Drew Bernard of Oregon Angel Fund is joining the Board of Directors of Little Bird.
Kirkpatrick is a former tech writer who wrote at TechCrunch and then became an editor at ReadWriteWeb, now called ReadWrite. He launched his social marketing startup in October 2012. Back when he started, he told TechCrunch that his aim was to help firms look for people who carry influence on any topic by analyzing their Twitter followers.
Since that time, however, Kirkpatrick said that LittleBird has changed in two different ways. First of all, the service is not confined only to Twitter but also includes Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+. The other change that took place is that it has included tools that don't just find influencers but actually enable companies to interact with them as well, the report said.
Kirkpatrick said Little Bird is different from Klout because the latter users discounts and deals to link brands and social media influencers. According to Kirkpatrick, this is "a crass, shallow way to engage people." What Little Bird does, however, is to provide more substantive methods of talking to influencers especially when it comes to business, the report said.
Kirkpatrick said that the larger trend is that "the line between sales and marketing is increasingly being blurred." Salespeople need to look for ways to stand above the competition since they are not anymore "the guardians of information about a company." He added, "You need smart things to talk about."
According to Kirkpatrick, he only initially targeted $500,000 for the bridge round. However, he ended up raising more because of the interest shown by sales organization, content marketers and big enterprises. He said the few financing was a "Series Seed" that is aimed at helping the company grow so it would be able to eventually go for a much bigger Series A, the report said.