Predicting the future has been extremely profitable for social intelligence startup Blab Inc, which has just raised $8.8 million of its targeted $11.6 million series B funding round, pushing its total funding over $15 million.
Blab doesn’t possess any magic crystal balls, but what it does have is a smart predictive algorithm that helps advertising agencies and brands to second-guess what consumers will be talking about on social media platforms, before those conversations actually happen. That can be pretty powerful knowledge in the right hands, and Blab reckons it’s able to help brands focus their advertising resources at just the right time and on just the right channels for maximum effect.
Blab’s software allows clients to push out promotional campaigns, purchase online ads and create contextual content about specifc ‘buzz topics’, before those conversations go mainstream.
To predict what’s going to happen in the future, Blab scans millions of news articles and social media conversations to learn what people are talking about. Its algorithm then crunches that data and tries to predict how the volume of specific ‘buzz topics’ will change over the next 72 hours, and also reveals where those conversations are likely to take place – for example on Twitter or Facebook or elsewhere.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Blab Co-founder and CEO Randy Browning said it’s software allowed one clothing detergent firm to cash in unexpectedly last Halloween. From its analysis, Blab identified chatter about bad-smelling costumes from thrift stores, and this allowed the detergent company to fire off a rapid advertising campaign to sell its products.
Blab’s social intelligence platform is already a very powerful tool for marketers, but Browning says he wants to improve on it. Speaking to GeekWire, he said clients currently have to manually select which predictions they want to focus on – but with its new cash influx, Blab is hoping to automate that aspect to create “a data management platform where we have automated decisions.”
Blab’s latest funding round was led by Blue Focus Communications Group and Shoreline Venture Management, with participation from Operative Capital. Besides improving its software, Blab will use the funds to expand its marketing and sales efforts.