Best-selling author, angel investor and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk has a very public desire to own The New York Jets. And while the 35-year-old entrepreneur is still working toward that goal, for now he’s settling with an angel investment in a 10-month-old Seattle upstart by the name of Prosodic.
An Internet celebrity who created the online video show Wine Library TV in 2006, Vaynerchuk is a sought-after speaker and social media expert who has appeared on Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Ellen, MSNBC and CNN.
The New Yorker who boasts nearly one million Twitter followers also is an early backer of startup companies such as Tumblr, Gowalla, Wildfire and Rapportive.
Prosodic CEO Leigh Fatzinger tells GeekWire that Vaynerchuk invested after becoming a customer of the company’s social media analytics tools. Calling him a well respected social media agency owner and word-of-mouth expert, Fatzinger said he’s thrilled to have Vaynerchuk on board.
“It is not so much that it is a massive amount of money. It is that we have validation from somebody who really knows what they are doing,” said Fatzinger, who declined to disclose the size of Vaynerchuk’s investment.
Vaynerchuk is the author of “Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion” and “The Thank You Economy.” He’s also the founder of the social media agency Vayner Media, a new type of company that Fatzinger described as a “conversation agency.” Since Prosodic’s tools help brands better manage social conversations, he said that the two companies share a lot in common.
Prosodic hasn’t officially launched its software tools, but Fatzinger said that the business “is going crazy” with interest from big brands and digital media agencies. “We are still getting started,” said Fatzinger.
To date, Prosodic has raised about $800,000. It employs eight people.