When a new tech company raises $5 million in Series B funding a year after being formed, most product managers would agree that it’s probably got a pretty hot product. And in the case of New York social data startup 4C, formed in 2013 from a merger between Voxsup and The Echo System, they’d be absolutely right.
A winning combination
Voxsup’s forte was social data, while The Echo System’s was in advertising and e‑commerce. The combination of strengths arising from the fusion of the two has resulted in data analytics technology that will set most product managers involuntarily salivating.
Given that Voxsup’s founder, Alok Choudhary, also works as a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, it’s less surprising that 4C has some seriously smart technology behind it. Choudhary is now 4C’s chief scientist and chairman, while the CEO role is occupied by Echo System founder Lance Neuhauser.
Intrigued product managers, of course, will want to know what this technology can actually do. According to the company’s website, it’s all about delivering actionable insights to Fortune 500 brands, big ad agencies and media firms about how people decide to make purchases. In a nutshell, the technology enables brands to use real-time social data to produce highly targeted social advertisements that promote positive sentiments in key audiences.
In an exchange with TechCrunch journalist Anthony Ha, Neuhauser gave an example of 4C’s capabilities. Working in conjunction with Facebook, the company analyzed 50 different brand categories along with consumer engagement data and TV viewing preferences.
A surprisingly strong connection emerged between Financial Services consumers and Reality TV viewing. Neuberger thinks both interests exemplify a preference for the unscripted drama animating Financial Services and Reality TV. In his email to Ha, Neuberger said:
“However, at 4C we also have the ability to look deeper than categories and identify direct connections between brands, users and precise interests. In past social ad campaigns top performer connections have been; Nicorette to Santa Claus, PGA to the Kennedy Center for the Arts, & Microsoft to Post-it Notes.
The investment from Jump Capital (which brings the startup’s total funding to a princely $8.25 million) will be ploughed into growing 4C’s team, international expansion and, as Neuhauser puts it, “including insights for more efficient television advertising planning, buying and selling.”