Mumbai-based social media marketing startup SocioSquare, a division of AKG Technologies Inc., has raised $325,000 (Rs 2.2 crore) in angel funding from David Bell, a Wharton School professor and seed investor, along with a few unnamed angel investors from the US, the UK and Turkey. Bell led the round. The funds will primarily be used for launching new social advertising products.
Gaurav Mendiratta, founder and CEO, SocioSquare, said, "Everyone is facing common problems of return on investment (ROI) from social ads, as well as their content reaching to only a few per cent of their followers/fans. We have developed two products to solve these problems and this investment will help us take them to the market."
SocioSquare is a full service digital marketing agency whose offerings include services like social media advertising and fan engagement, social media optimisation, analytics, search engine optimisation (SEO), and development of applications for social networking site Facebook and mobile phones. The services are available on an on-going monthly basis as well as one-off consultancy projects.
With offices in Mumbai and Delhi, the company's clientele includes the likes of ET Travel, Zee Khana Khazana, Ditto TV, The Mobile Store, Times of India Film Awards and Hokey Pokey Ice Creams.
The company's parent AKG Technologies is headquartered in Philadelphia (the US) and was founded in 2009 by Mendiratta. Its Indian subsidiary is AKG Media Pvt Ltd consists of two businesses—SocioSquare and NyooTV, a video-on-demand platform. Prior to founding AKG Technologies, Mendiratta was working at Comcast Cable, an entertainment, information and communications products and services provider. He holds a MSE degree in Telecommunications and Networking from University of Pennsylvania (the US) and a BE degree in electronics and communication from Barkatullah University, Bhopal.
The company has also developed a product on top of Facebook's ads application programming interface (API) and it plans to launch the same in the coming months.
Talking about his investment, Bell said, "Effective and profitable use of social media is the 'holy grail' for small and large firms alike, but it's not easy to get there. It requires the kinds of modelling and analytics that the team at SocioSquare has developed." He has earlier invested in companies like Diapers.com (acquired by Amazon) and WarbyParker.com.
In terms of competition, other players in the space include Mumbai-based social media agency Red Digital, which was acquired by Mumbai-based digital and social media agency Gozoop for an undisclosed amount last month. Prior to that, Parakweet Inc, a startup offering social media analytics, recommendations and metadata to media firms, raised $2 million in angel funding. The funding was led by a group of investors including Scott Banister, an early investor in PayPal; Alan Braverman, co-founder of Yammer; David Jeske, former director of engineering at Google and Vikas Taneja, senior partner and MD of The Boston Consulting Group.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)