Khoros, LLC is an Austin, Texas based provider of community management, social media marketing, software formed in the March 2019 merger of Lithium Technologies and Spredfast. The combined company has Austin as its headquarters and appointed Jack Blaha as CEO in August 2019. Spredfast had previously merged with Mass Relevance, an aggregator focused on delivering tweets for television broadcast, and Shoutlet. Lithium was founded as a spin-out of GX Media, had previously acquired Social Dynamx, a cloud-based provider of call centers software management.
|Jack Blaha, CEO|
|Products||Khoros Community Khoros Marketing|
Number of employees
|Parent||Vista Equity Partners|
Founded in 2001 as a spin-out from GX Media, which created technologies for professional rankings and tournaments and now hosts a number of popular gaming sites. The company's founders include Dennis Fong, Lyle Fong, Michel Thouati, Kirk Yokomizo, John Joh, Nader Alizadeh, Michael Yang, and Matt Ayres. Prior to the merger with spredfast, Lithium had previously acquired Social Dynamx, a cloud based provider of call centers software management.
At the beginning of 2010, Lithium announced over 100 percent growth in annual recurring revenue, coupled with securing $18MM in Series C financing. On May 11, 2010, Lithium acquired social media monitoring (SMM) provider, Scout Labs, whose service allows brands to engage with their customers beyond the community and monitor, map, and measure customer conversations on the social web.
In August 2011, Lithium announced the appointment of Enterprise Software Veteran Rob Tarkoff as Chief Executive Officer to succeed Lyle Fong, co-founder of Lithium. Fong took up the role of Chief Strategist and continued serving on the board of directors.
In January 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company secured a $53.4 million Series D round of financing, led by New Enterprise Associates. The funding round also included Greenspring Associates, SAP Ventures, the venture capital firm associated with Germany's SAP AG. The WSJ reported that the Series D financing round brought the company's total funding to date to $101 million.
Founded in Austin, Texas in 2010, Spredfast has offices in Austin, New York City, London, Argentina, Sydney, Hamburg, and Ukraine. As of 2016, Spredfast claimed more than 650 customers in 84 countries. Customers include Royal Caribbean, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Bank of America, Viacom and Target. In 2010, the company raised its series A funding of $1.6 million from Austin Ventures. The company has since raised $138 million in combined debt and equity financing, most recently with $50 million in Series F funding in 2016.
In 2012, Spredfast launched their first annual user conference, Smart Social Summit, geared towards social media marketers to learn from peers and industry leaders. The event has expanded to include Smart Social New York, Smart Social London and the Smart Social Suite at SXSW. Speakers having included Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Arianna Huffington, and Trevor Noah.
In January 2020, a Saudi based hacking group accessed social media accounts of the NFL and 15 of its clubs via the Khoros platform, using it to post messages critical of social media security and offering their services. Weeks later the group struck again via the Khoros platform compromising the Twitter and Instagram accounts of Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
Awards and recognitionsEdit
- January 2015: Emmy Award in Technology & Engineering for their work on campaigns such as President Barack Obama's Twitter Town Hall Meeting.
- 2015, 2016 & 2017: was named a Representative Vendor in Gartner's Market Guide for Social Marketing Management.
- 2015 & 2017, named leader in Forrester Wave Report for Social Relationship Platforms.
- 2017 & 2018 named a Representative Vendor in Gartner's Market Guide for Social Customer Service Applications.
- Hawkins, Lori (August 19, 2015). "Austin social media firm Spredfast acquiring Wisconsin company". Austin American Statesman.
- Sloane, Garrett (April 2, 2014). "Spredfast, Mass Relevance unite social marketing systems". Ad Week.
- Ha, Anthony (August 19, 2015). "Spredfast acquires Shoutlet". Tech Crunch.
- Van Enkenvoort, Bob (August 19, 2015). "Madison-based Shoutlet sold to Spredfast". The Wisconsin State Journal.
- "Lithium Acquires Social CRM Application For Call Centers, Social Dynamx". TechCrunch. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- "Lithium Technologies Acquires Social Dynamx, Joining Two Players in Rapidly Changing Field of Social Marketing – Venture Capital Dispatch – WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- O'Malley, Gavin (January 8, 2010). "Social Media Tools Provider Lithium Raises $18M". MediaPost.
- Wang, Ray (May 11, 2010). "News Analysis: Lithium's Acquisition of Scout Labs Ups The Ante in Social CRM". Enterprise Irregulars.
- "Lithium Names Enterprise Software Veteran Rob Tarkoff as Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Lithium Technologies. August 22, 2011. Archived from the original on November 26, 2011.
- "With Fresh $53M, Lithium Aims To Tame Social Media – Venture Capital Dispatch – WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- "Geoffrey Moore Joins Lithium Board of Directors". Lithium. Archived from the original on 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- Calnan, Christopher (February 16, 2011). "Austin-based Spredfast recruits Lombardi Software CEO". Austin Business Journal.
- Clancy, Heather (June 1, 2016). "Social Marketing Software Specialist Scores $50 Million". Fortune.
- Wistrom, Brent (2016-10-28). "Trevor Noah in Austin: The Daily Show Host Spoke at Spredfast Summit". AINNO. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
- Anderson, Will (June 28, 2017). "Michelle Obama to return to Austin as guest of social media software maker". Austin Business Journal.
- Zakzewski, Cat (Jan 28, 2020). "Twitter, Facebook investigate apparent hack of NFL accounts". Washington Post.
- Coble, Sarah (2020-02-10). "Facebook's Social Media Accounts Hacked". Infosecurity Magazine. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- Swiatecki, Chad (January 8, 2015). "Spredfast nabs tech Emmy after helping Obama in Twitterverse". Austin Business Journal.
- "Market Guide for Social Marketing Management, 2015". www.gartner.com. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- "Gartner Social Marketing Primer 2016" (PDF).
- "Market Guide for Social Marketing Management". www.gartner.com. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- "The Forrester Wave™: Social Media Management Solutions, Q2 2017". www.forrester.com. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- "Market Guide for Social Customer Service Applications". www.gartner.com. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
- "Gartner, Market Guide for Social Analytics Applications". Gartner.