It’s no secret: With Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms now woven into the very fabric of the Web, the Share-pocalypse is well underway. Of course, while it’s easy to recognize that “Social” is here to stay, many businesses still struggle with how to best navigate the rising social and mobile tides. Gigya launched in 2006 to help guide businesses through that process, and now provides like Pepsi and Verizon with ready-made social infrastructure to streamline the process of “going social.”
By making it easy for businesses to connect their own social profiles (and their users’ social graphs) into their websites and leverage plug-ins for social commenting, ratings, reviews, live chats and so on, Gigya has turned social infrastructure not only into a growing business, but one that appears to be on a collision course with the public markets.
The company’s technology is now being used by 700 businesses, including names like Wal-Mart, DirectTV, RedBox, ABC and Adidas, and reaches 1.5 billion unique mobile and desktop users per month. Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer told TechCrunch earlier this year that his company is now “bringing in tens of millions in annual sales,” with sales growth having tripled since 2011. In May, Gigya hired its first CFO in Paul Farmer, a veteran executive with 30 years of experience — and four public offerings — under his belt.
In another potential sign of things to come, Gigya today announced that it has closed a $25 million funding round, led by Greenspring Associates with contributions from the company’s existing investors, including Benchmark Capital, Mayfield Fund, DAG Ventures and Advance Publications. The new round brings Gigya’s total funding to $70 million and although Salyer declined to elaborate, he tells us that the company’s valuation has doubled since its last funding round — its $15 million financing which closed last June.
Greenspring, in particular, has a successful track record when it comes to backing SaaS companies, having been ExactTarget’s chief investor before its acquisition by Salesforce. Greenspring Partner John Avirett said of his firm’s investment in Gigya: “Given our investment in ExactTarget, we know the SaaS marketing space well and Gigya’s trajectory and market opportunity are sizable … The key value add as we see it is the company’s ability to unlock modern consumer identity for its clients, helping businesses form relationships with their users that are actually transparent and valuable.”
The company says that it will use its new capital to expand domestic and international sales and marketing teams at the company’s Mountain View headquarters, as well as open new offices in Phoenix. As my colleague Anthony Ha wrote in May, Gigya is also beginning a significant reorganization of its products into what it calls a “Connected Consumer Management Suite.”
While it will continue offering its existing services, like its social login and gamification tools, Gigya also plans to spend a good chunk of its new capital on developing new products — particularly on tools that give marketers better access to Gigya’s social identity data. Really, it’s a turn towards the enterprise, or the consumer-facing enterprise, as Gigya will look to help businesses manage consumer data and get more out of permission-based identity and behavior data through its so-called “connected consumer management suite.”
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