Social media mining startup LeadSift is poised for major success if it can prove its unique software really does convert the social media leads it ferrets out into real sales for its clients.
The Canadian startup, which is based in Halifax, is barely a year old but already has customers from across the globe (including the U.S.) queuing to sign up – quite an accolade for a firm that hasn’t even advertised yet.
$1.1 million by the end of year one
LeadSift has just brought its total funding to beyond the $1 million mark, made up of a $500,000 investment from OMERS Ventures and smaller amounts from an array of angel investors. The latter include Jevon MacDonald, whose startup Golnstant was recently sold for $76 million, and Canada’s “Angel of the Year, 2011” Gerry Pond.
Content managers, community managers and social media managers will be curious about what has generated such investor excitement. LeadSift’s software does as its name suggests – it sifts through social media data (chiefly Twitter at this stage, although Facebook and Foursquare are in the company’s sites for the future) and pinpoints sales leads for its clients. It’s planning to test its recently-launched trial version with 20 companies, with a de-bugged and revised version appearing early in the New Year.
The firm’s 29 year old co-founder and CEO Tapajyoti Das explains how it works, “You drop and break your smartphone and tweet about it. A sales lead is identified by our system. We are not just monitoring and listening and reporting, but are actually providing sales leads.”
The big-time beckons
If the company can demonstrate clearly that it really can identify high-probability leads that convert into sales, things look more than promising. One of the startup’s early investors, Ian Cavanagh (CEO of maritime IT consulting firm Ambir), said, “If they can prove that, then this is going to be very, very substantial.” He believes LeadSift is capable of emulating the success of the social media monitoring outfit Fredericton, which was bought by Salesfroce.com last year for $326 million.
With an impressive list of advisors and a seeable stash of cash behind the company, Das is bullish about its prospects, “We have competition. But with these investors and mentors on board, we are more confident about crushing them.”