French real-time alerts startup mention, which describes its offering as ‘Google Alerts on steroids’, has raised a “flash” seed round of $800,000 (€600,000) from Alven Capital and Point Nine Capital. Mention offers a real-time web alerts for brands, companies and individuals to track what’s being said about them on the web and social media sites.
The startup, which was founded in April last year, said it will use the capital to “structure” a marketing and sales team, as well as for product development to improve collaborative features for multiple-users organizations. It is also planning to relocate its core team to the U.S.
Although not quite a year old, mention has amassed 50,000 users, and paying customers from 46 countries. It’s also seeing double-digit revenue growth every month. CEO Edouard de La Jonquière said it wanted to take advantage of this momentum to “quickly raise a seed round on a ‘flash mode'”.
“We’ve contacted five investors whom we knew were thrilled by the project with a single HTML5 presentation page and a pre-drafted terms sheet. The whole idea was not to lose any time on the round and keep focusing on product development and traction,” he said in a statement.
Mention’s web app can be used on a PC and across mobile devices, and allows users to share and react to their mentions. Users to-date cover a “broad variety” of small and large companies and organisations, as well as individuals, according to the startup. It offers a free option, supporting limited mentions, alerts and history; rising to $19.99 for a pro plan, with unlimited alerts and history and 50,000 mentions per month plus data export tools and analytics; or $99.95 for a team plan, which offers the same as the pro plan but adds support for multiple users.
“We have law firms, universities, city councils, start-ups, PR firm, private detectives, communities, Fortune 500 enterprises as well as students, NGO, political parties, hotels and restaurants. And all those from San Francisco to Tokyo,” noted co-founder Thibaud Elzière in a statement.
“We’re very impressed with mention’s easy-to-use product and the immense traction which the company developed within a short period of time,” added Christoph Janz from Point Nine Capital in a supporting statement.
Mention’s feature-set puts it in competition more with social media monitoring services such as HootSuite than Google’s free (and pretty basic) Alerts tool. HootSuite, which had some five million users as of last December (but has not disclosed how many are paying), has been steadily broadening the outlets it monitors to become more of a general web alerts tool than a social media specific dashboard service.