At the Next 09 conference in Hamburg a number of announcements emerged from startups presenting, not least of which was the news that Linqia, the Barcelona-based startup, has secured a further 850,000 Euro in funding, taking their total raised to date to 1.35m Euros. The latest injection comes from various private investors, including Web 2.0 legend Esther Dyson.
Linqia has effectively been in stealth mode for a while but is now ready to bring commercial players and social networks together on its platform. Linqia works with groups like Facebook Fan Pages, Ning groups, Guilds, Clubs – anything which has an administrator, social tools and in-built messaging (not bulletin boards). FuelMyBlog does something vaguely similar but just for bloggers, while Social Spark is also a marketplace for bloggers – and there is a lot of controversy around those sites as it’s all about about commercial gain for the bloggers so they can never be seen as quite impartial.
Here’s how Linqia works.
If you have social networks on the one hand and potential commercial partners on the other, Linqia is design to be a marketplace where the two can meet for sponsor partnerships or similar. For example, if Nike had a new shoe for golfers and needed to reach social networks, Linqia would work with its agency on a test run of how to promote the shoes inside its test-bed of social networks. In real time the agency could see the response in the networks and just pay for results.
Linqia’s business model is based on revenue share between Linqia, the social network, online community and group.
In December it launches its technology to enable the real-time transactions between commercial entities and networks, but for now it’s on a recruiting drive to fill out its marketplace of social networks.
Founded by Maria Sipka, CEO and a former COO of Xing, Linquia has a team of eight and is held by holding company Starfish Community Group.com.