Spredfast Raises $32.5M For The “Third Wave” In Social Marketing

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Social marketing company Spredfast is announcing that it has raised $32.5 million in Series D funding.

The round was led by Lead Edge Capital with participation from Austin Ventures, InterWest Partners, and OpenView Partners. The company has now raised more than $60 million.

Spredfast was founded back in 2008, and CEO Rod Favaron acknowledged that the social media landscape has changed dramatically since then. He said the first group of products was focused on social media “listening” and aggregating comments about a company. The second wave consisted of social publishing tools and agencies like Buddy Media and Vitrue, which were “acquired en masse.”

Favaron argued that Spredfast is really part of a third wave: “The whole time, what we’ve been focused on, we don’t think social is about building another web page for your company. It’s about having conversations with people who care about your brand.” For Spredfast, among other things, that means building a product that allows a larger group of people across the entire company to get involved in social media efforts, rather than a small, isolated team. (Features include audience targeting, social filters, shared calendars, and integration with other products for web analytics, social listening, ad optimization, and more.)

The company says it works with more then 300 brands including General Mills, AT&T, and REI. The average customer has nearly 120 employees who are managing the social presence of “40 brands or initiatives across 200 accounts.” In addition to continued product development, Favaron said his goals for 2014 include international growth — he said that while Spredfast has customers in more than 20 countries, the team is entirely US-based, and that’s going to change.

Favaron also suggested that the social marketing industry still has a lot of room to grow, and it sounds like he wants to keep Spredfast as an independent company to take advantage of that growth.

“We wouldn’t go raise if we were thinking short term,” he said. “We’re obviously thinking long term.”