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10 Hot Social Media Startups to Watch

Jeff Vance | April 18, 2013
Social media startups aren't typically as well-funded as cloud or mobile startups, but they can have just as much impact and potential in how a business functions and succeeds. After evaluating more than 40 social media startups and then turning to crowdsourcing for input, here are the 10 hot social media startups to watch.

Market Potential and Competitive Landscape:We're not aware of any direct competitors to 9Lenses. However, it indirectly competes with the consulting industry and with more traditional Enterprise Performance Management tools.

For many social media startups, their business models are a bit nebulous. There are tons of great social media concepts out there, but few proven ways to monetize those concepts. 9Lenses looks like a possible exception.

Customers include HP, Raytheon, CoreSite, Oracle and Parata Systems.

2. BeFunky

What they do: Provide a photo-editing platform.

Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.

CEO: Tekin Tatar, who was formerly Business Development Manager of McCann Relationship Marketing.

Founded: 2007

Funding: $2 million in seed and Series A funding from Golden Horn Ventures.

Why they're on this list: As blogging, self-publishing and photo-sharing through social media all continue to grow, more and more people are seeking photo-editing tools. These people don't want to spend a ton of money on something like Photoshop, and they want something that is easy to use. BeFunky intends to meet those demands.

Market Potential and Competitive Landscape:BeFunky isn't the only game in town. Aside from incumbents like Adobe, alternatives such as PicMonkey will give BeFunky a run for its money. BeFunky claims more than 5.8 million active users.

3. Bloomfire

What they do: They provide an "intranet solution that is reminiscent of Pinterest, to address the knowledge sharing, collaboration and content management issues that are plaguing modern businesses."

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

CEO: Craig Malloy. Malloy sold his previous companies, ViaVideo and LifeSize Communications, to Polycom and Logitech, respectively.

Founded: 2010

Funding: In March 2013, the company secured an $8 million second tranche of its Series A round, bringing the company's total funding raised to $18 million. Austin Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and CEO Malloy are the investors.

Why they're on this list: Bloomfire's software unites information silos across cloud, social and mobile platforms with a centralized user interface that enables workers to instantly connect with subject matter experts and relevant content across their organization, promoting anytime, anywhere collaboration.

The goal is to make collaboration and information sharing easy, while also promoting collaboration among workers and departments that wouldn't communicate otherwise. Bloomfire argues that it creates a "Pinterest-like experience," which is highly visual and intuitive. Too many enterprise collaboration/content management tools are cumbersome . If Bloomfire can truly deliver a simple Pinterest-like experience, it's a step in the right direction.

Moreover, Bloomfire has attracted some serious VC money for a social media startup.

Market Potential and Competitive Landscape:Gartner predicts that by 2016, 50 percent of large enterprise organizations will have internal social networks. Bloomfire believes that the content management, messaging and social enterprise markets will soon exceed more than $40 billion in combined annual revenues.

 

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