Social media management company Sprout Social has been doubling its employee base consistently over the past few years; CEO Justyn Howard said the company’s revenue nearly tripled last year alone. That’s why existing investors New Enterprise Associates and Lightbank signed on again this week to support Sprout with an $8 million round.
"Sprout has been growing quickly,” Howard said. “While we're a capital efficient business, we will be funding even more growth initiatives in the coming year and we are very happy to further our partnership with NEA and Lightbank to help finance our next phase of growth."
This round puts Sprout Social’s total funding amount at about $19 million since its first round from Lightbank in 2010. The capital has helped Sprout Social to hit aggressive hiring goals (like bringing on 100 last year), to expand its headquarters to a roomy new space in the Loop and to provide its social media management and engagement product to over 14,000 customers.
Many of these customers are enterprise customers like Dove, Hyatt and Nokia. Enterprise has become somewhat of sweet spot for Sprout because its engagement and reporting tools are intuitive for large social media teams dealing with even larger customer bases.
“Businesses active in social media are getting more numerous, dependent and sophisticated,” CTO Aaron Rankin said in April. “Today many consider social media a first-class channel for certain functions, like customer care. We’re seeing Twitter replacing toll-free phone numbers. People — consumers, citizens, fans, etc. — are driving more and more business functions to transition to social media. That will continue and we expect it to be a gradual evolution, one that we monitor with every tweet. It’s our job to enable and empower the exchange.”