Whether you subscribe to the idea of social influence or not, services that mark — or try to mark — it are continuing to pick up momentum, and the latest example of that is PeerIndex, the UK-based social influence marketing platform, picking up a $3 million round of funding from a group of angel and private equity investors.
The Series A round was led by Antrak Capital with participation from the ex-head of Reuters, Tom Glocer, as well as Restoration Partners chairman Ken Olisa and angel investor Sherry Coutu.
There has been plenty of backlash against services like Klout and PeerIndex and the many others chasing the business of quantifying who influences whom in the wider world of social media, particularly among consumers.
That straight consumer-facing social ranking part of the business, however, is only a part of what PeerIndex (and others like it) does. The other part is developing algorithms aimed to ferret out influencers around specific topics, and applying them to marketing campaigns for businesses for their digital marketing campaigns.
PeerIndex offers such services to a variety of customers: Atlantic Records, Penguin Books and the Telefonica-owned operator O2 are among those that it shares publicly.
PeerIndex says that the funding will be used to build out both the B2B business as well as its more consumer-facing influence marketing service, called PeerPerks.
That service has seen the company do things like offer “influencers” products and services early doors so that they can try them out and potentially enthuse to friends and followers about them. One example from last year involved publisher Penguin offering VIPs the ability to get a pre-publication copy of Hari Kunzru’s latest book before wider release to spread the word, and then offer their followers a chance to order it in advance.