Austin’s TrendKite Raises $10.7M to Support PR Software Development

For Erik Huddleston, organic media mentions are like the dark matter of the marketing universe.

“Every corner of marketing has a robust (software) stack but PR doesn’t,” says Huddleston, CEO of Austin, TX-based TrendKite, which makes public-relations software. “Because there is no robust execution and analytics software, it’s been hard to quantify the impact that PR has had on the business.”

He says the investment will enable TrendKite to take advantage of even greater growth prospects than the company expected earlier this year when it raised $5.5 million. This latest funding infusion, worth $10.7 million, was led by Atlanta-based Noro-Moseley Partners with repeat participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, Silverton Partners, and the Mercury Fund. To date, TrendKite has raised $20.6 million.

Huddleston says the three-year-old company’s “number one focus is hiring.” With 70 employees currently, he says TrendKite will reach 100 by the end of 2015 and 200 by the end of next year. “That hiring will translate into a much broader and robust product and the ability to service it,” he adds.

TrendKite’s customers include Nike, Hershey, Pinterest, and the Memphis Grizzlies professional basketball team.

The idea, Huddleston says, is to leverage data analytics in a way that can provide quantifiable evidence of how public relations campaigns influence the bottom line. “We have customer (dashboards) that shows them every time the cash register rings when there is an organic press mention,” he says.

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