Addvocate, The Startup Led By UserVoice Co-Founder Marcus Nelson, Hires The YourTrove Team

Addvocate, a startup
offering tools for businesses to encourage social media advocacy in
their workforce, has hired the team behind social search service
YourTrove. The two
companies were working on somewhat related problems. Addvocate
provides a system for pushing shareable content to employees while
they’re actually using services like Twitter. In other words, it
replaces the email where someone has to ask, “Tweet this please!”
which usually gets a disappointing response. YourTrove, meanwhile,
was building a
search engine that worked across users’ social network
. However, Addvocate CEO Marcus Nelson
(co-founder of UserVoice and former head of social media at told
me that he didn’t acquire YourTrove’s technology, just hired the
team. Both startups work out of the WeWork space in San
Francisco, which is how they got to know each other. Nelson said
it’s part of the natural dynamic at co-working spaces that some
startups will take off and others won’t, so as he saw their
respective trajectories, he thought it was a good idea to bring the
three-person YourTrove team (co-founders Seth Blank, Nick Vlku, and
Jesse Emery) on board. They’ll be focusing on “infrastructure,
scalability, security,” he said. This brings Addvocate to eight
full-time employees. When I
last spoke to Nelson in July
, he’d built a private alpha
product. Now Addvocate is taking requests from companies that want
to use the product, and it has already brought more than 500
customers into the system. The next step, Nelson said, is to add
features like mobile support and LDAP
security. Another upcoming feature that he’s excited about is the
ability to create a custom link for every single employee post or
tweet, so Addvocate can offer leaderboards to track which employees
are driving the most traffic to a given website.
Update: A
short post on PandoDaily
, based on an email from Blank,
says that I “wrongly claimed that the team behind social search
engine company YourTrove was acqui-hired by social media advocacy
company Addvocate.” (Actually, I never used the word “acqui-hire.”) I asked Nelson to clarify,
and he suggested I make one edit to the wording (I added the word
“hired” to the last sentence of the second paragraph). Other than
that, he said he stood behind his earlier statements, and declined
to comment further on the details of the contract. Blank also
emailed me to confirm Nelson’s account.