Piqora, a company that began its life as a Pinterest-centric company once called Pinfluencer has over the past year expanded further into the visual web space with marketing tools for Tumblr and Instagram, as well.
Today, the company is giving a peek inside its business, and announcing it’s now generating revenue in the single digit millions, with monthly recurring revenue up 600% in 2013. In addition, the company is also publicly disclosing a $2.1 million round of venture financing from last April, which comes on top of a previous seed round of $1.4 million.
Freestyle Capital again led the newer round, which also included participation from WTI (venture debt), Baseline and Lazerow Ventures.
Over the past year, Piqora has grown its customer base 400 percent, and now serves over 300+ clients, generally in the fashion, home decor and e-commerce space, including several well-known brands like Crate & Barrel, Wayfair, Etsy and Steve Madden, for example. These businesses pay anywhere from $12,000 to $24,000 on for an annual subscription to Piqora’s services, which include its analytics dashboard as well as a hands-on customer relations component which sees the firm advising brands on how to better succeed with their advertising, marketing and community-building efforts across the visual web.
For instance, Piqora’s team can suggest what to do when Pinterest pins and re-pins are declining, or which popular and trending hashtags they should use when posting to Instagram. With the Instagram product in particular, the company is now tracking over 1,000 hashtags, CEO Sharad Verma tells TechCrunch. In addition, over 400 brands have connected their Google Analytics and Omniture accounts to measure the social ROI of their images, and Piqora has tracked over 450 (up 800% year-over-year) photo contests and sweepstakes on visual networks, which delivered over half a billion in product impressions.
Now, the company is embarking on a plan to expand its product suite yet again in 2014, with something Verma likens to a “CMS for the visual web.”
“The number of images that brands have to now monitor has exploded beyond imagination. What they’re looking for is a unified way to manage all the images – to collect branded images from a variety of networks – and the ability to see all the images in a consolidated library, sort of like a content management system for the visual web,” he says.
This product, Verma explains, would allow marketers access to internal resources like their own Dropbox folder, for example, but also the organic conversations and imagery posted about their brand on public networks where user-generated content is present. An early step toward this larger vision of a CMS for the visual web will allow marketers to see all the images for the hashtags they’re tracking, which they could then publish on their own blog, website or Facebook.
The product (pictured at top) will become available on the 27th of this month. But Verma’s idea for a “Wordpress for the visual web,” is not yet built, and would eventually be priced as a separate offering.
With the additional financing and the revenue Piqora is generating, Verma tells us he’s looking to double the business in 2014, especially in terms of growing the company’s headcount. The team, now 15 people, will add more sales and marketing personnel to its ranks, hopefully growing to 30 in the near future, he says.