Banyan Branch, the Seattle-based social media marketing firm whose clients include Hartz, Porsche and Gilt Groupe, has raised $1.7 million from a prominent group of angel investors that includes former Qpass CEO Chase Franklin; Seattle angel investor Geoff Entress; KissMetrics founder Neil Patel; venture capitalist Bill Bryant and others.
“Social media has become pervasive within our culture, giving brands a way to create ongoing conversations and build lasting relationships with consumers,” said Entress, who is joining the company’s board as a result of the financing round. “By bringing a scientific, scalable approach to the massive social marketing opportunity, Banyan Branch has established itself as a leader in the agency landscape and a partner that big brands can rely on to create repeatable success with their social media initiatives.”
It designed the “Which Dwarf Are You?” Facebook quiz as part of Disney’s release of the Blu-Ray DVD of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and it was responsible for the wildly popular “I’m on a Mac” video for Parallels which spread virally via YouTube.
Banyan Branch continues to reel in new clients, with the company saying that revenue grew by nearly 100 percent over the past 12 months. The company’s workforce now stands at 60, with plans to reach about 80 in the coming year if sales targets are met.
Banyan Branch described the financing as a “Series A growth round,” with Cahill saying that the money will be used to invest in a new social interactive and analytics product and expand the company’s media buying practice.
“As brands increasingly shift marketing dollars from ‘traditional’ channels they are looking for full-service social marketing agencies that can help them reach and create compelling experiences for their customers on social platforms and we (want) to be able to capture and deliver on those brand investments,” said Cahill.