Stackla raises $2m to fund global expansion

Stackla founded in 2012 by our very own Damien Mahoney and Peter Cassidy, has raised $2 million in its first funding round from major investors to support further international expansion in the US and Europe.

The investment, from venture capital fund rampersand and a consortium led by business leaders Tony Faure and Grant McCarthy, caps off a stellar run that has seen demand for Stackla’s digital marketing platform skyrocket. Other notable investors include Alan Kohler and Sam Mackay, who is the chair of kikki.K and former CEO of Jurlique.

An Australian technology company helping hundreds of the world’s biggest brands to aggregate and curate social media content (more than 300 clients including Adidas, ANZ, Telstra, Disney, Fashion Week, Medibank, Pandora, Qantas, Kathmandu, McDonalds, NVIDIA, Bose, British Labour Party, Michael Hill, Vogue, Toyota, Holden, SABA, MYER, Lego, Shell, Manchester United FC, Tourism Australia, Philips, Canon, Citibank, Origin Energy, SBS and most major Australian sport organisations), Stackla has become a core part of the marketing software suite.

The company is quickly gaining traction globally with US clients including Comcast, Boost Mobile, Target, Jawbone, Red Bull and Nespresso, while British clients range from Contiki to Shell and the British Labour Party.

Twitter has recognised Stackla’s innovative approach to social content marketing, making it the first and only Australian Twitter Technology Partner.

The Stackla platform allows brands to discover and showcase the best brand mentions from across the social web. The use cases include social ‘catalogues’ for e-commerce websites; content crowdsourcing for live events; curated social media hubs for brand websites and real time visualisations generated from social data.

Damien Mahoney, cofounder and CEO of Stackla, said the $2 million capital injection would contribute to a doubling of Stackla’s staff headcount mainly in its new US, and UK offices to expand its aggressive growth into these regions.

“With a footprint to build in the US and UK and over 30 staff to hire, the work has only just begun but we are thrilled that investors and customers believe in our vision,” said Mr Mahoney.

“We believe our technology is well ahead of market trends, and the wave of interest in what we do is far from peaking,” he said.

“Social media is a mainstream activity marketers engage in every day, and we believe our software will become a key part of every marketer’s daily workflow.”

Mr Mahoney and cofounder Peter Cassidy came up with the idea for Stackla while helping NRL teams develop content for social media.

“Fans and customers are recommending brands and products to their friends on social media – these are money-can’t-buy endorsements. The problem is, social endorsements are fleeting and hard to capture,” said Mr Cassidy.

“Stackla solves this problem by helping marketers cherry pick the best content on the social web and showcase it where their customers are – on websites, apps and at venues.

“It’s exciting because there are so many applications for the technology. Iconic retail brands, like Michael Hill, MYER and SABA are using social media to drive sales by bringing social recommendations to the point of sale. At the other end of the spectrum, Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Australian Rugby Union, National Rugby League and Wembley Stadium are using Stackla to engage and entertain sporting crowds.”

One vertical that has taken off for Stackla is social commerce, with major retailers using Stackla technology to show fan social content at point of sale online and in stores.

“The influence of social media on e-commerce has been a letdown for many brands and consumers, driving a tiny portion of online sales and playing a decreasing role in the consumer shopping journey. But using Stackla technology brands such as Myer and Michael Hill have done a better job of influencing purchasing decisions by harnessing social media content on their own websites and in store at point of sale,” said Mr Cassidy.

CapGemini’s recent Digital Shopper Relevancy report found that among shoppers social media’s influence was waning compared to websites and instore. A separate Monetate study of 500 million ecommerce sessions found only 1.55% of all ecommerce traffic came from social and just 0.71% of that resulted in sales.

rampersand cofounder and managing partner Paul Naphtali said: “Stackla is a high growth business with a huge technology advantage in a massive market with an awesome team – it ticks all the boxes.”

Tony Faure, a former Yahoo! And Ninemsn executive who is an investor and director of several fast growing technology companies, said: “In an age where a single tweet can make or break brands, Stackla helps companies tame the social media firehose and solves one of the biggest challenges facing digital marketers today.”

Grant McCarthy, executive of Asia Pacific Growth Management and a director of APGM’s investments arm, said: “I am delighted with Stackla’s traction to date and have no doubt the team is well placed to execute on its vision. The international expansion is set to continue that high growth trajectory and we’re excited to be helping Stackla achieve its goals.”