Social-Marketing Startups Spredfast and Mass Relevance Merge

More Consolidation in Ecoystem of Companies Helping Marketers Use Facebook and Twitter

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Rod Favaron
Rod Favaron

More consolidation is happening in the ecosystem of companies that help brands market effectively on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

Two Austin-based companies, Spredfast and Mass Relevance, are merging, the companies said.

Spredfast appears to be the dominant party: Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron will become CEO at the combined company, which will operate under the Spredfast name, while Mass Relevance CEO Sam Decker will join the board of directors and serve as an executive advisor without a day-to-day operational role.

Mr. Favaron characterized the deal as "putting together like-sized companies." Mass Relevance stock will be converted into Spredfast stock, but the new company isn't disclosing its valuation.

As separate entities, Spredfast and Mass Relevance had very different expertise in the world of social marketing.

Mass Relevance's niche has been curation. Its technology lets brands and the four biggest TV networks gather and display social content on TV -- on shows like "American Idol" and "The X Factor," for example -- as well as on outdoor displays and online. Those tools will continue to be known under the Mass Relevance brand, and the curation business will continue to operate.

Mass Relevance has had long-standing close ties to Twitter and helped ignite the social-TV phenomenon by letting broadcasters display tweets on air. It was one of the first dozen ecosystem companies assigned a Twitter "certified products" badge in August 2012. Last fall it said it would work with Facebook to source public content, but recently said it would only rely on Twitter, according to Re/code.

A competitor of companies like Sprinklr, Expion and Shoutlet, Spredfast has helped brands with social-media management and analytics.

"Our vision is to connect every place social content is consumed, across all screens," Mr. Favaron said.

Spredfast had 200 employees and had raised $60 million, while Mass Relevance had 150 employees and raised just north of $5 million. There are 100 job openings between the two entities, and no layoffs are planned, according to Mr. Favaron. The two entities have no overlapping technologies.

They do already have some overlapping clients, including Campbell's and Target.

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