Hootsuite, a platform that helps enterprises and brands manage their presence on social media, has made an acquisition to help those customers track their activities on the social platform of the moment, Snapchat. It has acquired a Snapchat analytics solution from Naritiv, a startup based out of Los Angeles that was an early mover in the business of creating Stories and other content for Snapchat.
Naritiv — backed with just over $4 million from Disney, Greylock and a range of other VCs and angels — is not coming over itself with the deal. Instead, it’s using the sale of the analytics tool as a moment to double down on its own ambitions to build its media business creating “content for a generation that doesn’t even know what cable means.”
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and Hootsuite will not be taking any equity or other investment in Naritiv. Ryan Holmes, the CEO and co-founder of Hootsuite, and Naritiv’s co-founder Dan Altmann both tell me that the transaction will include the technology for the platform and three employees, who will serve as the foothold for a new Los Angeles office for Vancouver-based Hootsuite.
Hootsuite today allows its customers — 15 million in total, with “hundreds of thousands” taking the paid tier of service — to manage social media across dozens of sites, from Twitter (where Hootsuite got its start) and Facebook through to LinkedIn and many more. Today’s acquisition signifies Hootsuite’s first move to bring Snapchat into that fold.
This is not because Hootsuite sees a lot of activity already from its customers on the platform. In fact, Holmes said that Hootsuite will make more in revenue just from its AdEspresso business on Facebook (it acquired AdEspresso to move into native and organic content in February) than all of Snapchat will make this year.
Rather, the acquisition was made because, in Holmes’ (Canadian) words, “We have to skate to where the puck is going.”
In other words, brands and businesses are going to where their customers are going, and Snapchat is proving to be one of the more engaging social apps of the moment. That’s driving companies not just to look for partners to help create content for the app, but also to help them measure how well it’s doing and what can be tweaked in the mix of video and text, for example, and that is where the analytics platform will come in.
“Snapchat is starting to surface on more of our roadmap,” Holmes continued. “We want to be the best platform for their needs today but also down the road, and we think that video is going to become a huge need.”
What’s interesting is that while Naritiv built the analytics product originally as a way to measure how its own Snapchat content was working both for itself and its clients, it looks like Hootsuite plans to expand the service to cover other platforms.
There is a definite case for doing that, since Facebook (as one example) has shown that it’s not afraid to clone some of Snapchat’s best features for Instagram and more recently Messenger, and take some audience away from the Southern California upstart in the process.
Hootsuite itself has raised more than $250 million in funding and is valued at “well over” $1 billion, according to CEO Ryan Holmes, and is currently cash-flow positive.
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