Sprinklr acquires Little Bird, a tool for finding experts on anything via Twitter

New York marketing tech firm Sprinklr has acquired Portland-based Little Bird, according to Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas.

Little Bird was founded in 2011 to help researchers quickly find the top experts and influencers on any given subject via Twitter. It raised from Mark Cuban, Jason Calacanis, Oregon Angel Fund and other individual investors $4.8 million in venture capital to build its analytics platform.

Little Bird chairman and co-founder Marshall Kirkpatrick, formerly a TechCrunch writer, said his company’s technology today is exactly what his team set out to build initially. Here’s how it works:

“Little Bird discovers the most influential people in any field, with influence measured by connections a person has built with other experts in their specific field using a ‘9 out of 10 dentists recommend’ model.

Once a big map of influencers and experts has been built, which takes under 5 minutes, then the system tells our customers which of those influencers are already part of their community online, who competitors are connected to, what the hottest conversations among those influencers is, and we deliver alerts over time whenever something important happens.”

marshall kirkpatrickSprinklr plans to integrate Little Bird into its broader, social media management platform, Ragy Thomas said, namely its “influencer and advocacy management solution.”

For those not familiar, Thomas describes Sprinklr today as “the most complete social media management platform for the enterprise.” He explained, “We help the world’s largest brands do marketing, advertising, customer care, sales, research and commerce on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and 21 other social channels globally.”

Those activities used to be managed by siloed teams and with disparate software and systems, Thomas said, but with the advent of social media, the trend has been toward collaboration and even centralization in large companies.

Little Bird’s six full-time employees will stay in Portland but become part of Sprinklr’s global team, said Kirkpatrick.

Executives did not disclose the terms of the deal. The acquisition marks the 11th for Sprinklr, a robust number for a company that’s just seven years old. In November last year it acquired Booshaka, an audience-targeting tech firm.

Sprinklr has raised $230 million in venture capital to date, and employs 1,300 people full-time. Thomas says the last round of funding saw his company’s post-money valuation rise to $1.8 billion, putting the company squarely on the “unicorn” list.

Its clients include more than 1,200 brands, Microsoft, Nike, Dell and P&G among them.

Little Bird had racked up some impressive clients, too, including large media companies, nonprofits, retailers that Kirkpatrick did not have permission to name, as well as Microsoft, LinkedIn, IBM, Dun & Bradstreet and Pitney Bowes.

Ultimately, Kirkpatrick said, “Becoming part of Sprinklr means the learning our customers do with Little Bird can become actionable.”