ReadyPulse has raised $2 million in fresh funding, money that it will use to continue developing a service that helps companies such as RedBull, GoPro, RedWing Shoes and others find user-generated photos and videos that can be used in a brand’s marketing materials.
The company’s operations are split between San Carlos, Calif. and Redmond, Wash, and investors from both Seattle and Silicon Valley participated in the round. Backers include Divergent Ventures, Harmony Capital and Moxie Software.
“We believe ReadyPulse has already begun to change marketing with customer generated content,” said Todd Warren of Divergent Partners, who is joining the board. “Brands and online retailers are realizing that their best user content drives commerce, and ReadyPulse is in a perfect position to lead the market with excellent customers, a great team and patented technology.”
It competes against New York-based Olapic, which raised $5 million last summer.
Last year, a photo that ReadyPulse discovered of celebs Justin Bieber and Will Smith was used by footwear and apparel company Supra. It ended up being the No. 1 photo on Instagram last year. The software platform — sold on an annual basis — also helps companies in the fashion, entertainment, sports and retail industries identify their best social media influencers, recruiting them to be “brand ambassadors.”
ReadyPulse was founded by former Amazon and Microsoft employees Srinivas Penumaka,T. Vinod Gupta and Mihir A. Vaidya. The 14-person company named Dennis O’Malley, a former Gartner and Moxie Software exec, as CEO in 2012. Here’ more of how the system works from O’Malley.
Working with early customers like GoPro and O’Neill, we quickly saw that even though brands had thousands, probably millions of pieces of social content, they weren’t all equal in terms of translating to buzz or sales. What changed the equation was that we could quickly find a brand’s best photos or reviews or videos from social media — from their best or most popular users and customers, that’s really key — and display them where it mattered the most: where their new and potential customers were researching and buying. On their websites, including mobile, and also in stores. It’s instant buzz, and it’s high quality and relevant, but it’s not manufactured.
Previously on GeekWire: Startup Spotlight: ReadyPulse turns Twitter, Facebook followers into ‘brand advocates’