Collective Bias, a social shopper media startup, has closed a Series A investment round led by Updata Partners for $10.5 million.
Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, Collective Bias is a social shopper media company that weaves organic social content into engaging, real-life stories to create millions of impressions leading to increased share of voice, SEO, and ultimately sales for brands and retailers such as Tyson, Nestle and Smart & Final. The company has satellite offices in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Toronto and London.
Collective Bias was named one of America’s Most Promising Companies in 2013 by Forbes.
The company concluded 2012 with its third consecutive year of triple-digit growth, along with validation from major Fortune 500 companies.
We only cover a handful of startup funding stories at the TechJournal these days, but Collective Bias touches a lot of the bases we cover here, social media, ecommerce, and Southeast and Southwest startups.
Social shopper marketing evolution
“We believe that social shopper marketing is the evolution of shopper media, and supplants tired traditional media like FSI’s, retail circulars and digital display advertising,” said John Andrews, co-founder and CEO of Collective Bias.
“This investment round provides Collective Bias with runway to extend our four year leadership role in this new media category. We will employ these dollars to robustly enhance our Social Fabric content management platform, enter new markets and grow our team.”
Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report indicates that “consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase.”
Collective Bias is based on the insight of Andrews and co-founder Amy Callahan that advertisers could create greater engagement with their shoppers through the channels in which they engage today – be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or a simple, pre-shop search.
Drive brand recognition
“Harnessing the power of social media to drive brand recognition, loyalty and sales are C-level priorities for consumer-focused companies, and Collective Bias has a record of delivering impressive results for its customers,” said Jon Seeber of Updata Partners.
James Socas, a general partner at Updata Partners, added, “Collective Bias’ combination of shopper marketing expertise and brand and retail experience are a powerful combination in the new era of marketing, and we look forward to helping them drive even more value and growth.”
Collective Bias operates Social Fabric, a proprietary community of over 1,400 shopping-focused influencers, blending members’ shopping experience and product usage through engaging stories that are published online and shared with like-minded friends and followers.
With an aggregate multichannel reach of more than 50 million, the Social Fabric community represents a true extension of the Collective Bias team, providing continuous, valuable feedback that has redefined the relationship between brands, retail clients and consumers.
The financing process was facilitated by Gridley & Company, LLC, a New York-based boutique investment bank that provides financial advisory services to companies in the digital and information services industries.
Social Fabric is a proprietary community consisting of approximately 1,400 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multichannel reach in excess of 50 million.