Crowdverb, a Seattle social media monitoring startup led by Todd Herman, Sally Poliak and Cyrus Krohn, has been acquired in a deal of undisclosed size by Washington D.C.’s Direct Impact. Founded last year, Crowdverb developed technologies that it dubbed Complete Signal Analysis and Real Time Polling that were designed to better identify “perceptions, emotional drivers, and behaviors” of selected groups of people.
“Our acquisition of Crowdverb will improve how we approach grassroots communications and influence how we conduct campaigns from every angle,” said Direct Impact CEO Nicole Cornish in a blog post. “Direct Impact has been moving in this direction for some time, and we welcome Crowdverb on board to accelerate this momentum so that together we can redefine grassroots for the next 20 years, and beyond.”
Direct Impact is a unit of Burson-Marsteller, part of the giant advertising services firm WPP. It describes itself as a “grassroots public affairs, public education and corporate reputation firm.”
Both Herman and Krohn previously served in leadership roles driving digital strategy for the Republican National Committee. Herman — who co-founded theDial — also previously worked at Microsoft. Krohn’s past experience includes stints at Yahoo, CNN and Slate Magazine.
“We are thrilled to build on the work that Direct Impact has done for the past two decades on the ground by adding a very strategic presence in the digital mobilization space,” said Cyrus Krohn, co-founder of Crowdverb, said in a release. “Direct Impact is a true pioneer in the advocacy field and we are eager to join them as we build a suite of hybrid online and offline offerings that exploit the very best strategies out there today.”
The acquisition of Crowdverb comes very early in the company’s life cycle, but Herman writes in a blog post that they were enticed by the deal in hopes of “modernizing mobilization” in order better understand how and why people rally around certain causes.
“The team at Direct Impact has performed some truly pioneering work in mobilization,” Herman said. “Crowdverb’s great hope in joining Direct Impact is to take the technologies we offer today and combine them with the technologies we are building to help our new parent company do their jobs that much better.”
Crowdverb plans to remain in the Seattle area, moving into new offices in Bellevue with room for more employees. The three founders of Crowdverb plan to stay on board with Direct Impact.