Austin-based LoudCrowd scores $2.2 million to help brands attract and retain customers
Every business needs customers. Business growth also requires customer growth. With millions of businesses competing for the same segment of customers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Enter LoudCrowd, an Austin, Texas-based tech startup that is tapping into user-generated content to enable brands to attract and retain customers.
Today, LoudCrowd announced it has raised $2.2 million in seed funding to help brands get more customers creating branded social content. The round was led by LiveOak Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor Active Capital and angel investors including Steve Schaffer.
Founded a year ago by Gary Garofalo and Justin Papermaster, LoudCrowd is a SaaS tech startup changing the way brands invest and interact with their customers as a tool for growth. The team, consisting predominantly of former TrendKite executives, has achieved 40% month-over-month growth since May. “At TrendKite we solved earned press for brands, and here we are solving earned social media so that it can be leveraged as a true marketing channel,” said Justin Papermaster, the co-founder and President of LoudCrowd and former sales leader at TrendKite. TrendKite sold to Cision in 2019 for $225 million.
Customer Led Growth – or the idea that a brand’s most valuable marketers are its customers – is the secret growth recipe for many of the fastest-growing apparel brands in the world. LoudCrowd customers like Kendo Brands, Oh Polly, and Ryderwear have capitalized on their ability to get their customers to create UGC at scale. This organic content resonates with consumers who are suffering from influencer and ad-targeting fatigue.
“We believe that we are witnessing the democratization of marketing and that the most successful brands in the world will increasingly leverage their customers to grow,” said Stewart. “LoudCrowd has built a platform that enables brands to scale their earned media with measurement tools and customer incentives.”
Co-Founder and CEO Gary Garofalo added, “With COVID-19 impacting traditional retail, there has never been a more important time for brands to strengthen their presence on social media. It isn’t possible to infinitely scale social spend, so brands need to turn to their customers to get the word out. It’s the ultimate growth channel for consumer marketing”.
“The future of marketing will be organic, social, and customer-led,” says Pat Matthews, CEO and Founder of Active Capital. “There is such an overload of paid & influencer based marketing in the market right now, leaving audiences fatigued and craving authenticity. LoudCrowd makes it incredibly easy for brands to drive customer-led growth in a time when they desperately need it.”
In 2021 LoudCrowd will look to continue its rapid growth with several new products aimed at automating social marketing engagement, benchmarking brands, and measuring customer LTV. To support these products, LoudCrowd is hiring a variety of roles focused on engineering, sales, and marketing.