Social commerce player Betapond raises €2.2m

30 May 2013

Facebook developer Betapond has raised €2m in a new funding round led by the Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund to support its efforts to merge e-commerce with social data. The company emerged from Waterford and has grown to include offices in London, Dublin and San Jose, California.

The round follows on a previous €1.15m round from the Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund, managed by Delta Partners, Irrus Investments and Enterprise Ireland.

Declan Kennedy, Conor Ryan and Peter Elger founded the company in 2009 in Waterford. Since then, the company has become one of Facebook’s leading developer partners and has secured significant new customers in Intel, Dove, Unilever, Marks & Spencer, Tourism Ireland, VisitBritain, Boylesports, The Met Office and Paddy Power, to name a few.

“We are thrilled to secure this new round of investment led by the Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund and to be working with Investec Ventures, while deepening our relationship with Delta Partners and Irrus Investments,” said CEO and co-founder Declan Kennedy.

“Betapond delivers innovative social technology solutions to a great portfolio of global brands. This funding enables the company to accelerate its development and go-to-market plan to be a global leader in social commerce solutions.”

Accelerating social commerce

With the latest investment, Betapond plans to use the funds to accelerate development of its social commerce offering to retailers, powering product recommendations from other Facebook users the consumer trusts.

With the market for social commerce expected to reach US$30bn in revenue by 2015, according to Booz and Allen, and 81pc of consumers getting advice from family and friends about purchase decisions, Betapond is in a position to take its experience helping brands use Facebook more effectively and apply it in this explosive growth area.

A spokesman explained the funding will enable Betapond to launch a set of solutions for retailers that will make it quick and easy for them to personalise the consumer shopping experience by leveraging the vast pool of social data represented by Facebook’s 1.1bn users and what they’re interested in.

“The company has already established itself as a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer and has a proven ability to build relationships with some of the world’s best brands,” said Leo Hamill, a partner with Investec Ventures.

“Betapond combines many of the key attributes we look for when investing in a business, including a highly professional and capable management team, a proven business model and a clear strategy to grow the business both domestically and internationally.”

Delta is participating in this round from its expansion stage fund, Delta Equity Fund III Ltd Partnership.

“Over the past 18 months, Betapond has laid the foundation for its social recommendation product offering,” said John Kenny of Delta Partners. “We are pleased to welcome Investec Ventures to the table at this pivotal time in the company’s development.”

Last year, Betapond acquired iPlatform, the UK’s first Facebook-preferred developer for an undisclosed sum.

Social commerce image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years