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Social marketing startup Percolate expands its team as more big names take a shine to it

Social media man­agers inter­est­ed in new ideas might wish to take a look at the progress of a New York start­up which has gone from strength to strength in 2013 by help­ing brands cre­ate engag­ing con­tent on social net­works: Per­co­late, which we fea­tured back in August.

Sim­pli­fy­ing the per­mis­sion process

Co-found­ed in 2011 by fel­low New York­ers Noah Brier and James Gross, Per­co­late moved into the world of user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent, anoth­er phe­nom­e­non brands tend to slob­ber over – it’s just good for busi­ness to see ordi­nary peo­ple enjoy­ing your prod­uct. The more skep­ti­cal social media man­ag­er might be think­ing that this isn’t such a big deal – after all, rival start­up Chute (also found­ed in 2011) has been help­ing brands har­ness user gen­er­at­ed con­tent, too.

But Percolate’s co-founder and now Pres­i­dent, James Gross, insists that, unlike the com­pe­ti­tion, his company’s solu­tion sim­pli­fies the cum­ber­some process of obtain­ing user per­mis­sion rad­i­cal­ly and elim­i­nates legal issues. Lit­er­al­ly, a few clicks and it’s done.

Onwards and upwards

In addi­tion to a new smart­phone app that lets brands upload images to their Per­co­late media library direct­ly from a smart­phone (great if a firm is hold­ing an event it wants to share), the start­up bagged a hand­some Series A round of $9 mil­lion in November.

The algo­rith­mic engine Per­co­late uses to scan the Net for brand-rel­e­vant con­tent so effec­tive­ly has attract­ed some big-name clients to the start­up, Amer­i­can Express and GE among them. The invest­ment, says co-founder Noah Brier, is evi­dence that the social media mar­ket is red hot as brands begin to under­stand that, with Twitter’s sales push and Facebook’s IPO, social is the future of marketing.

He told AdWeek:

“Brands have been look­ing at social for a while now and real­ize changes need to hap­pen. The lifeblood of social is con­tent and the bot­tom line is that none of it would exist with­out brands cre­at­ing con­tent organ­i­cal­ly on social.”

The Series A round was led by CGV Cap­i­tal and Brier says that the hefty invest­ment will be ploughed into grow­ing the startup’s 28-strong team, with some seri­ous hires in both the engi­neer­ing and sales sides being espe­cial­ly high in the list of priorities.

Most social media man­agers would prob­a­bly agree that this social-savvy start­up is well and tru­ly on the rise.

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