Tiger Pistol, an Australian startup offering social media marketing tools that it describes as both “small business friendly” and “enterprise powerful”, is coming out of its closed beta test today and launching to the public. It’s also announcing that it has raised $1 million in angel funding.
Co-founder and CEO Stephen Hibberd says that the goal was to create something that could take most of the difficulty and uncertainty out of creating marketing campaigns on social networks. You can start off with pre-built campaigns and templates, so you don’t have to create anything from scratch, and you’re tapping into Tiger Pistol’s knowledge about best practices. There’s a drag-and-drop interface, so you can customize those campaigns without any technical knowledge. Then you can track the data about your campaign’s effectiveness and reach, including the number of participants and their conversion rates.
Now, there’s clearly a glut of social media marketing tools out there already, but what caught my attention was the variety of customers that Tiger Pistol serves. Yes, there are many small businesses who participated in the closed beta, but the company says it also worked with larger customers like Expedia, Hotels.com, The Weather Channel, Village Roadshow, Under Armour, and the BBC. Hibberd says he wants Tiger Pistol to be a global product, so it works in any language, and customer support live chat is available 24 hours a day, so companies in any timezone can reach out for help. All told, there were 1,600 participants in the closed beta from more than 100 countries. There was a strong response in the Asia-Pacific region, Hibberd says, but the United States saw the largest number of installs.
Tiger Pistol is currently limited to Facebook, but plans to add Twitter, LinkedIn, Sina Weibo, and Kaixin001 soon.
The funding it was led by Australian investor David Solomon. It sounds like the round was actually raised a little while ago (Hibberd credits it with “getting us where we are now”), so Tiger Pistol may raise more in the not-too-distant future.
As for the company name, it refers to the tiger pistol shrimp, which can apparently make the loudest sound on Earth. I guess that’s intended to illustrate, in a way, the power of social media. The weirder part is the fact that the tiger pistol shrimp uses the noise to stun and eat its prey — whether or not that weakens the metaphor or actually improves it is an exercise I leave for the reader.