Frontier Adds Leading SaaS Provider of Enterprise Social Media Analytics & Intelligence to Portfolio, Will Support Co-Founders in Next Phase of Growth
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 5, 2018 — Frontier Capital (“Frontier”) today announced a majority growth investment in ListenFirst Media (“ListenFirst” or the “Company”) of New York, a SaaS-based provider of comprehensive social analytics solutions to leading consumer brands. Frontier Capital is a Charlotte-based growth equity firm focused exclusively on software and tech-enabled business services companies.
ListenFirst is utilized by consumer brands to leverage social media signals to drive business outcomes by delivering clients the most complete view of their customer and campaign performance, analytics to optimize social media engagement, and insights to guide decision-making across the enterprise. ListenFirst’s software solution integrates data from all major social media platforms with a client’s digital and offline data to provide brands real-time, actionable insight into how they are reaching and engaging customers. Without any outside capital to date, the Company has balanced high-paced revenue growth of over 50% year over year while also operating profitably.
Led by Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Christian Anthony and Jason Klein, ListenFirst is an industry leader in social analytics for major consumer brands, such as NBC Universal, Conde Nast, Time Warner, and Gap, Inc. With deep roots in Media & Entertainment, ListenFirst has emerged as an industry leader in comprehensive social intelligence solutions for consumer brands across a variety of verticals including fashion & retail, travel & leisure, finance, and healthcare. Frontier’s investment will support the Company’s go-to-market expansion efforts as well as allow ListenFirst to continue to accelerate product innovation, including its innovative AI and machine learning initiatives.
The outlook for the sector is robust, with corporate investment in digital and social marketing growing rapidly; according to Markets & Markets, the social media analytics market is expected to increase at an annual rate of almost 29% reaching an estimated $9.5 billion by 2022.
“We’re excited to partner with Christian and Jason to help them continue to accelerate ListenFirst’s market leadership position in delivering rich social intelligence insights to the world’s premier consumer brands,” Frontier Partner Michael Ramich said. “With brand spending on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube continuing to draw budgets away from traditional media, ListenFirst is well positioned to help consumer brands make sense of and maximize their investment in social media.”
“We realized we were at an important inflection point in our company’s evolution, and decided it was the right time to capitalize on the market potential by bringing on a financial partner. Since culture comes first for us – and is a key reason for our success – choosing the right firm was a careful and deliberate process. It was clear from the start that Frontier’s approach was unique; a strong focus on culture, transparency and building a team-based winning environment are as important to them as to us,” Anthony said of the decision to partner with Frontier.
Klein added: “ListenFirst was founded to drive a future where data, not just instinct, helps guide the way brands make decisions and we are extremely proud of the value our solution and services bring to our clients. Our market opportunity is rapidly expanding and we are excited to partner with the Frontier team to help us navigate our next phase of growth. Frontier’s deep, focused expertise with SaaS companies just like ListenFirst will help us refine our go-to-market strategy, enhance our product offering, and continue to enable our clients to solve critical business challenges by unlocking the power behind data.”
In addition to Ramich, Frontier Vice President Dave Pandullo will join ListenFirst’s Board. The investment in ListenFirst represents Frontier’s fourth investment from the firm’s $700 million Frontier Fund V, which closed in 2017.
Digital Capital Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to the Company.
Frontier Blog Post: https://frontiercapital.com/blog/frontier-capital-announces-majority-growth-investment-in-social-media-analytics-platform-listenfirst
ListenFirst Blog Post: http://blog.listenfirstmedia.com/private/177741955352/tumblr_pejtu1L4Hv1scoy63
About ListenFirst Media
ListenFirst is the most comprehensive enterprise social analytics solution. The ListenFirst platform analyzes and unites billions of real-time digital and social media signals across more than 50,000 brands and 20+ industries — from owned, earned, paid, conversation, and video content engagement to behavioral analytics, brand affinities, and influencer tracking — to give brands insight into developing content, setting KPIs, optimizing strategy and performance, and driving the bottom line. Founded in 2012, ListenFirst is trusted by leading global brands and is regularly featured in The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Ad Age, Forbes and more. For additional information, visit www.listenfirstmedia.com.
About Frontier Capital
Frontier Capital is a Charlotte-based growth equity firm focused exclusively on software and technology-enabled business services companies. Founded in 1999, Frontier partners with management teams that can benefit from capital to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions or generate shareholder liquidity. The firm makes minority and majority equity investments in high-growth companies. For more information, please visit www.frontiercapital.com or follow Frontier on LinkedIn.