Betapond Raises Further $2.5 Million To Move Into Social Commerce

Betapond, the Ireland-headquartered Facebook marketing technology startup, has raised €2 million (~$2.5m) in a new round of funding led by The Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund, managed by Investec Ventures. Delta Partners and Irrus Investments, a previous backer of the company, also participated.

This brings the total raised by Betapond to €3.15 million, having closed an earlier round in 2011 of €1.15m from the Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund, managed by Delta Partners, Irrus Investments and Enterprise Ireland.

It says it plans to use the additional capital to “accelerate development” of its forthcoming social commerce offering to retailers, which will power product recommendations from a consumer’s trusted Facebook friends — though Betapond is staying fairly tightlipped on precisely how this new product will differentiate itself from others in the social commerce space.

Claiming to be Europe’s “most established provider” of Facebook technology solutions for global brands, specifically in the retail, consumer goods and tourism sectors, the Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer helps brands build social applications/marketing campaigns, primarily targeting Facebook’s 1.1 billion users.

It claims clients such as Unilever, Marks & Spencer, Tourism Ireland, Intel, Dove, VisitBritain, Boylesports, The Met Office and Paddy Power, targeting Europe and the U.S. — as well as a Waterford, Ireland HQ, the company has offices in Dublin, San Jose, and London.

In September last year, it bolstered its technical talent and London presence with the acquisition of Facebook app developer iPlatform. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

“This funding enables the company to accelerate its development and go-to-market plan to be a global leader in social commerce solutions,” said CEO Declan Kennedy in a statement.

When pressed on how it plans to achieve a social commerce leadership position, and more precisely how this translates into actual product, this is how Betapond COO Richard Delevan described the startup’s thinking in an email:

For example, let’s say you bought a ticket to a concert online. Your purchase could then be shown to friends on Facebook by various means who are also fans of the artist. Meaning they would have a higher probability of buying tickets.

For the retailer, this makes it easier to acquire new customers by turning existing customers into advocates. And by offering more data on individual consumers it allows for increasingly targeted and relevant offerings to each individual consumer, leading to larger basket sizes and higher lifetime customer value.

In a nutshell, Betapond solutions will allow retailers looking at the success of sites such as to catch up and move ahead in the social commerce arms race.