Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Klout Confirms Mega Funding Round

Klout confirmed today that it has raised Series C funding — a round that actually closed back in November and had been a bit of an open secret in tech circles for the past couple months.

Klout CEO Joe Fernandez said Kleiner Perkins lead the round, with Chi-Hua Chien joining the Klout board. KP partner Bing Gordon is also staying on the board. Fernandez wouldn’t comment on the price or valuation but called it a “strong round.”

Sources said the funding closed back in November and valued the company at about $200 million.

Other backers who participated included Institutional Venture Partners, Venrock, Greycroft Partners and ff Venture Capital.

Klout’s main product is a scoring system that measures people’s influence and reach on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ — something that social media marketing types pay a lot of attention to. The concept of Klout scores has been somewhat controversial, but that seems natural for a system that quantifies a person’s worth.

Klout’s mission, said Fernandez, is “to empower every person by unlocking their influence.” He said Klout now handles 10 billion API calls per month, up from 100 million per month in January 2010.

Klout last raised $8.5 million a year ago. Its current business model is Klout Perks, where marketers can target influential people with free stuff. Fernandez said Perks are going well, with 300,000 people having received them last year, but “there’s a lot more we can evolve to.”

 


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik