Trufan, a startup selling tools helping marketers analyze their social followings and collect audience data, announced today that it has raised a $2.3 million seed round.
Despite raising a relatively small amount of funding ($4.1 million total), Trufan has already made two notable acquisitions. First, it acquired the SocialRank product and business in 2019, allowing it to offer capabilities like showing brands their most valuable social media followers. Then last year, it acquired Playr.gg, which marketers use to run giveaways that consumers enter by providing information such as their email addresses.
Across its products, Trufan says it has more than 10,000 free users and more than 600 paying customers, including Netflix, NBA, NFL, Sony Music and United Talent Agency.
Next up, the startup plans to integrate the two main products and launch a consolidated, privacy-compliant customer data and audience engagement platform with new branding and pricing. Co-founder and CEO Swish Goswami told me that the platform should be particularly attractive as regulators introduce new privacy regulations, Apple and Google add new restrictions to ad targeting based on third-party data and as consumers become more sensitive to how their data is used.
“People do not want to be tracked anonymously,” Goswami said. “People do not want their data taken away, but most of those people are attracted to the idea of data sharing if they get something in exchange.”
He added that it’s particularly important for brands to build up first-party customer data given the limitations of social networks: “You can have 50 million followers, but every time you post you don’t reach 50 million people.” If you’ve got 50 million email or phone numbers, on the other hand, you might actually reach most of those inboxes or phones.
The new funding comes from Moneta Ventures, with Moneta partner Sabya Das joining Trufan’s board of directors. GP Ventures, Protocol Ventures and Athlete Technology Group also participated, as did angel investors including Innovative Fitness founder Curtis Christophersen, Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors and Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young.
“Trufan is miles ahead in recognizing and removing roadblocks in the customer data space,” Das said in a statement. “We are excited to be backing them because they truly are all-star founders with an incredible team alongside them, and we believe in their conviction and ability to solve the first-party data problem.”