The ability to drill-down and target specific groups of people on Facebook, based on their interests or affinity with your brand or a competitor's, is sort of a given. The technology is already built into the platform. On Twitter, however, it's not so easy. That's the hole that SocialBro wants to fill, along with educating companies on how the 140 character-driven social network can be used as a tool to do business. To spread its wares and message, the UK/Spain-based startup, which describes itself as a cloud solution for the management, analysis and monetization of Twitter communities, has raised £1.2 million (~$1.8m) in Series A funding, adding to the €500k seed round it announced last November. The majority of its new capital comes from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). The UK-based VC firm, whose previous early-stage investments include the flight search-engine Skyscanner, put in £1 million. The rest of the round comes from SocialBro's existing angel investors, including Stephen Bullock (notably an investor in the social media monitoring tool Brandwatch), and Chris Underhill (ex-CEO of Smartfocus). Speaking on a call with TechCrunch last night, SocialBro founder and CEO Javier Burón said the company plans to use the funds primarily to grow its sales and marketing team in London (Burón himself is based at Google Campus), as well as invest in its engineering and design teams in Spain to deliver on the startup's current roadmap, which includes new unannounced products. Burón also said the decision to focus on London as its sales and marketing base, rather than Spain, was because the company is in part targeting English-language customers, and that London is a good place to look outwards. Around 30 percent of its 3,000 paying customers reside in the U.S., with the UK second, although Burón notes that Spain is also doing well, as is South America and Indonesia. Operating a freemium model, in which its non-cloud desktop app is free, the company also has 180,000 non-paying customers from over 100 countries. Plenty of opportunity to up-sell internationally then, one would think. But to take advantage of that opportunity, concedes Burón, requires educating businesses on how they can extract value from Twitter and ultimately, by using SocialBro, increase their ROI in social media marketing. The cloud service enables brands to analyse their Twitter communities, in terms of things like where they are from, when they tweet, what they tweet about, how influential they are, and the influencers they are connected to. It's then possible to segment these users for better targeting and monitoring, including Direct Message campaigns. The same kind of analysis can also be applied to competitors so that a business can fine-tune its social marketing strategy, accordingly. SocialBro also plays nicely in the wider social media marketing ecosystem. It has integrated with HootSuite, the power-user Twitter client aimed at social media managers and brands, along with the social influence platform Kred, the European Klout-competitor PeerIndex, and the time-shifting Twitter app Buffer, which lets users line up tweets for the most optimum time of exposure.
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