Get Satisfaction Snags $6M to Crowdsource Customer Support—To Other Customers

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monetizing and putting out a business model.” One big move was to bring in Wendy Lea, a former principal at management and governance consulting firm The Chatham Group, as CEO; another was the decision to focus on the social CRM market. “2008 and 2009 were a trial by fire,” says Muller. “But they say the best companies are the ones that come out of recessions. I can say that we emerged stronger for it.”

The other factor that paved the way for the Series A round was the explosion in social media activity, by both consumers and companies. “The market kind of evolved to suit us,” says Muller. “We couldn’t have predicted the rise of Twitter and Facebook, but the fact that they have become the centerpoints of the new economy has been great for us. It’s now a mainstream phenomenon for companies to want to be social online, whereas when we started, it was kind of a leap. People told us that they didn’t think mainstream businesses would ever want to air their dirty laundry in public. The maturation of the market created great timing for us for raising a great round.”

Lester says the Get Satisfaction investment was a natural for Azure, which has a history of investing in major consumer-oriented Web plays—its portfolio company BillMeLater, acquired by eBay in 2008 for $1 billion, was one of the most lucrative exits in venture capital history.

“We love companies that are early in an exciting space and have great leadership and clear momentum,” Lester says. “Those are three things that Get Satisfaction has that were obvious from the minute we met them. The space is still in its infant stage, and people are still defining their positions, so we see this as a big opportunity.” And if Get Satisfaction ever needs help defining its position, it has a pretty good place to turn: its own community of customers.

Compare this story to:

Get Satisfaction Celebrates Third Anniversary with $6 Million in Funding (Mashable)
Get Satisfaction Raises $6 Million For Customer Support Forums (TechCrunch)
VCs seek satisfaction: Customer service startup Get Satisfaction raises $6M (VentureBeat)
Get Satisfaction Raises $6 Million (San Francisco Business Times)

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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