KickApps the industry’s leading on-demand social media, video player and widget platform, today announced that it will be accelerating its expansion in the UK and Europe following its Series C funding of $14 million.
The financing follows the company’s rapid growth and adoption of its Platform by Web publishers and brands worldwide over the last eighteen months. During this time, digital strategists, developers and designers turned to KickApps to integrate social features, such as social networks, media sharing, commenting, rating, blogs, widgets, online video and message boards, throughout their websites.
This reflects the recognition by the industry and KickApps’ customers of the importance and value of social media as a core element of their online strategy for driving improved customer relationships, audience growth and increased revenue opportunities.
The investment was led by North Atlantic Capital, with participation from existing investors Softbank, Spark Capital, Prism Ventures and Jarl Mohn, former CEO of Liberty Digital, Inc. Concurrent with the investment, Mark Morrisette, managing director from North Atlantic Capital, has joined KickApps’ Board of Directors.
“KickApps is aggressively extending the scope of services we provide online publishers in a number of important ways,” said Alex Blum, KickApps CEO. “With the introduction of App Studio and a growing set of data services (including Social Graph Engine™ and a plug-in architecture), KickApps will help web publishers achieve unprecedented engagement, optimization and personalization throughout their editorial and social media experiences.
As a next generation website operating system, our mission is to transform a number of traditional services—video players, editorial presentation, advertising, analytics, marketing, customer relationships—into highly interactive experiences that are contextually informed by live, actionable data. The key is helping publishers build, deploy and/or plug-in any type of application simply, affordably and with a common data structure.”
KickApps currently powers social and media experiences on over 48,000 websites in virtually every industry, including media, entertainment, sports, magazine publishing, travel, live events, radio, television, online retail, food, healthcare, fitness, education, non-profits and B2B online communities. This was also fueled by the company’s international expansion, through a growing market presence in Europe, South America and Asia, representing approximately 30 percentage of its customer base.
“We’ve been watching this market very closely and have been extremely impressed by KickApps’ leadership over the last few years,” said Mark Morrisette, managing director, North Atlantic Capital. “As the industry has matured, KickApps has risen to the top as a direct result of its strategy of product innovation and its ability to execute successfully in this fast growing sector. We look forward to our partnership with the KickApps team and expect that KickApps will continue building on its leadership position.”
Notable brands that have adopted the KickApps Platform in 2008 include: Endemol, Guinness World Records, National Geographic, Budget Travel, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New York Rangers, John McCain’s official social network (McCainSpace) and Voice of America.
Since the launch of KickApps Platform 3.0 in January 2008, the company has continued to aggressively develop product solutions based on its social media platform, Widget and Video Player Studio (a widely used drag-and-drop widget and custom video player authoring environment) and WidgeADs™, a new concept for highly interactive, programmable advertising units. This combination offers a powerful way to integrate editorial content and social media with a common platform, media management and data layer.
Additionally, the company’s extensible open approach to Platform architecture enabled the seamless integration of 3rd party applications such as Clearspring’s widget distribution and tracking services, YouTube’s video search and embed functionality, Akamai’s enterprise class rich media management platform, Stream OS®, and AOL’s Userplane chat and IM.
KickApps provides on-demand social media, online video and widget applications that enable web publishers and marketers to drive deeper customer relationships, and grow, engage and monetize online audiences. Its SaaS platform includes social networking, user-generated content, programmable video players, drag-and-drop widget building, WidgeADs™ and other applications that are tightly integrated with robust media moderation, member management and reporting. Customers include: SOAPnet, CW Television, Guinness World Records, Scripps Network Interactive, HBO, Cinemax, Cox Television, the Phoenix Suns, the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and thousands of other sites.
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