Unified Closes $40 Million Funding Round

Social marketing and analytics company Unified has 40 million reasons to be happy Thursday morning.

Social marketing and analytics company Unified has 40 million reasons to be happy Thursday morning.

Unified announced that it closed a $30 million series-B financing round, which was led by iHeartMedia, with participation by Advance Publications, Upfront Ventures and Foundry Group.

In addition, the company increased its credit facility at Silicon Valley Bank to $10 million.

Unified was one of the launch partners for the Instagram Ads API, and the company is also a Facebook Marketing Partner, a Twitter Official Partner, a LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner and a Pinterest Ads API Partner.

The company said the new funding will be used to speed development of its data platform and software applications, for sales expansion and to enter new markets.

Co-founder and CEO Sheldon Owen said in a release announcing the funding round:

Unified’s success has been driven by an incredible team, a unique vision for the new era of marketing and a world-class roster of customers and partners. This latest round of funding will fuel our next stage of growth as we continue to deliver software that drives CMOs’ (chief marketing officers) success.

President and chief strategy officer Calvin Lui added:

The marketing landscape is evolving rapidly, with data, technology, social and mobile taking central roles in this transformation. The addition of strong strategic and financial partners underscores the power of Unified’s vision and technology. Our software and platform enable CMOs managing billions of dollars of marketing investments to make informed decisions about their audiences, messages and channels based on real-time signals and advanced analytics.

Lui said in an interview with SocialTimes that social networks have become a “consumer engagement paradigm that covers all walks of life,” adding of the social marketing space:

As long as marketers continue to build compelling content and offers, there’s going to be value. People are engaging with these ads because they’re finding value in them. The effect and the return on investment is here.

When asked about Facebook’s changes to pages, announced Tuesday, Lui said:

Anytime new advances come out to make it easier for consumers to interact with brands and get to what they want, that’s going to be a positive. Making the brand page more compelling and easier to use for a consumer can only drive engagement rates up.

Unified vice president of communications Dave Donohue also spoke with SocialTimes about the expansion in the availability of Instagram ads, which was announced Wednesday, saying that it began alpha-testing with the Instagram Ads API “about 120 days ago, and the results have been outstanding.”

According to Donohue, Unified ran relatively small tests in terms of budget and the number of users who were able to access the ads, and he added of the new features:

Anything that brings video to the table is good for a brand.

UnifiedBadges