Social Analytics Heats Up: Socialbakers Raises $6M From Index And Earlybird To Expand Its Big Brand-Focused Monitoring Service

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Social analytics firm Socialbakers — the social media monitoring startup that counts Fortune 500 companies like McDonald’s, Nestle, LVMH and Vodafone as clients — has raised $6 million to continue building out its business. The Series B round was led by Index Ventures, and also included participation from existing investor Earlybird Venture Capital. Funding for Czech-based Socialbakers, founded in 2009, now totals $8.2 million.

The rapid rise, and critical mass, of consumers using different social networking services — Facebook, the biggest of them all, in October noted that it had passed the 1 billion mark for active users — has had a massive knock-on effect for businesses. Brands have scrambled to make sense of all the chatter and to harness those channels to better market themselves (although, in some cases, that has backfired spectacularly).

Socialbakers has been one of the firms to ride that wave. It says that over one-fifth of all Fortune 500 companies are clients (1,000 customers in all). That works out to 450,000 marketing executives using the company’s analytics platform monthly, monitoring 10 million social media corporate profiles.

Like other analytics firms, Socialbakers is a big-data play, offering clients a way of monitoring their own presence online and to benchmark against others in real-time. The company’s main terrains are the big daddies of social networks — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+, although Jan Rezab, co-founder and CEO of Socialbakers, says that any and all other networks can be added into the mix.

“It’s all about our customers and more importantly about social channels which are preferred by their target audiences,” he said in an interview. “Our platform is scalable and robust enough and we can quite flexibly tailor solutions and apply our categories for any platform if there is interest.”

Part of the funding, he notes, will be to expand default coverage to “all platforms that host our clients’ content and which our clients see [as] useful because there is an opportunity to interact with their customers.”

In addition to its own activities — Socialbakers regularly releases interesting stats around big events like the London Olympics or the U.S. Presidential election, as well as more reflective research like this recent look at the top 10 photos shared on Facebook in a single week, or this look at Campaign Obama’s social media win —  Socialbakers is worth watching for another reason:

It’s one of the big successes in the enterprise social media space that is still independent. Companies like Salesforce, Oracle and others, as they raise their own social media games, have been on acquisition sprees picking up companies like Buddy Media, Vitrue and Socialbakers competitor Radian6, in order to offer social media marketing services to their customers. As it continues to grow its business, Socialbakers could become a target in that arena, too.

“There is no question that Socialbakers leads this space. Their name is now synonymous with intelligent social media measurement and benchmarking,” said Index Ventures Partner, Jan Hammer, in a statement.

A lot of Socialbakers’ activity has been focused on U.S. clients, Rezab says, but at the same time the company has been looking to expand its global footprint. In addition to its headquarters in Prague, Socialbakers also has bases in London, Munich, Paris and San Francisco, and recently continued its global expansion with offices in Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Dubai and Istanbul.