HipLogiq Raises Money, Enters Selling Phase

11.18.hiplogiqDallas-based marketing technology startup HipLogiq has raised $7 million in Series B funding, led by Hadron Global Partners.

It will use the money to bolster sales and marketing staff. This latest cash injection follows a $5 million Series A round last May, also led by Hadron.

While the Series A round was largely applied to improve HipLogiq’s two products, SocialCompass and SocialCentiv (designed to enable brands to send targeted offers and messages based on an individual’s tweet content), the Series B round will fund growth of the company’s inbound and outbound sales staff, expanding its employee count from around 20 to 40.

While most of the company’s employees will remain in Dallas, HipLogiq will begin hiring  in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and possibly Chicago. These are strategic locations, said CEO Bernard Perrine, due to a high density of potential HipLogiq customers: brands and digital agencies.

Selling to agencies in particular is a new thing for HipLogiq. In October, it released a version of SocialCompass for agencies to white label and incorporate into their own stacks. This makes up roughly half of SocialCompass' clients — the remaining half are large brands like Papa John’s that generally deploy SocialCompass as a managed service.

SocialCentiv, a scaled-down version of SocialCompass (the two solutions use the same core platform), is designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It launched last March during the SXSW conference and currently has around 2,000 users, according to Perrine.

Despite the industry’s excitement around the ability to automate personalized marketing and advertising messages, both SocialCompass and SocialCentiv require a degree of human oversight.

“A human needs to add value to that [social media] stream,” Perrine said. Certain words, he pointed out, are the same but have different meanings. Human intervention is needed, for instance, to parse the difference between "I got sick on steak last night" and "I had a sick steak last night." Perrine added that technologies designed to automatically understand intent, like natural language processing (NLP), are generally frowned upon by social media providers.

“They want their material to be crisp and not be viewed as spam or a bot,” he said. “They have sophisticated filters.” Vendors that try to overlay NLP over a Twitter stream, Perrine claimed, will be “locked out within minutes.”

While HipLogiq’s current sweet spot is Twitter, Perrine anticipates incorporating more social media sites into the company’s solutions portfolio. “Whisper is an exciting one for certain demographics,” he said. HipLogiq is even considering social networks that have a strong image component, like Instagram or Pinterest.

“You identify the language that’s relevant,” Perrine said. “If it’s Pinterest and it’s potluck suppers, we have an idea what the conversation is about.”

 

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