A company that helps brands to harness the power of social media is set for growth following a £250,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire.
York-based Stashmetrics was founded by Mike Houston and Sam Oakley who have developed software that provides invaluable insights for marketing professionals, increasing the impact of their budgets and saving them time.
Customers include Unilever, Sony Mobile, Diageo, United Nations, Care Quality Commission, Givaudan, Camelot and Nestle as well as media agencies Havas and Mindshare.
The Finance Yorkshire Seedcorn investment will be used to build the Stashmetrics sales team, increase marketing, develop new products and recruit developers.
To date Finance Yorkshire has invested £97m, enabling companies to increase their turnover by £352 million and attract a further £187 million from other private sector sources. Through this activity, Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 10,670 jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Mike said: “There are some really good tools to help companies understand what people are saying about them on social media but most of the decisions that marketers make are based on people, not keywords.
“Our software identifies the people on social media who have the real power to reach their target audience.”
When Sony Mobile wanted to engage with photographers for a new handset campaign, Stashmetrics set up a group of Twitter “photographers” using historic keyword analysis and biography. This allowed Sony to track what those people were talking about, what they read and who influenced them.
Sam said: “The ultimate aim is to gain people’s permission to advertise to them by providing content they actually like.
“We have proved that the product works and we have some excellent case studies. Now we need to make it available to a much bigger audience.”
He said the company aims to adopt a “Software as a Service” model, which means the programme can be hosted by Stashmetrics but licensed to users in the UK and overseas.
“This money will enable us to continue to grow. It allows our developers to further develop our software and realise the vision that we intended for it.”
Graham Davies, investment manager at Finance Yorkshire said: “When we first met with Sam and Mike to review their business plan, we knew the business had huge potential. They have now refined their software and built an impressive portfolio of clients.
“This is a real step forward in social media analytics and we look forward to helping them to develop the offering further.”
Stashmetrics has also received a total of £50,000 from Creative England and private investors. It previously received loan and equity investment from the Collider business accelerator.
Legal advice to Stashmetrics was provided by Taylor Wessing.
Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.