Q&A with MomentFeed founder and CEO Rob Reed about social media management for businesses with multiple locations and the company’s recent $1.2 million seed funding round
MomentFeed is a fully-integrated platform for businesses to manage social media channels across multiple locations. The Santa Monica, CA–based company was founded in 2010.
SUB: What is the value proposition MomentFeed offers to both merchants and customers?
Reed: MomentFeed offers an integrated solution for managing Foursquare, Facebook Places, Twitter Places, and Gowalla across hundreds or thousands of locations. In a nutshell, it maximizes the efficiency and efficacy of utilizing these platforms for companies with more than 20 locations. There is a lot of secret sauce involved in synchronizing all of this data and activity across so many locations and services, such that a brand can have a comprehensive, holistic, and accurate view of how consumers are engaging with their locations at the local and global levels.
For consumers, there isn’t a direct value prop. But when businesses can better leverage services like Foursquare and Facebook Places, there is more value and engagement for consumers.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Reed: While there are a few companies doing similar things in the LBS space, none so far are addressing the same problem in the same way as MomentFeed. Furthermore, we are entirely focused on the enterprise market. That’s where we have the greatest strength in terms of existing relationships and those of our investors. We have great traction already among the Fortune 1000.
SUB: How are you marketing your services?
Reed: We are a direct sales model to both large brands and marketing agencies. In addition, our platform can be utilized by independent consults who wish to pitch and sell their value-added services of data analysis, campaign management, and CRM. For example, if you’re a marketing consultant and have a relationship with a large brand, you might propose to setup and manage the company’s location-based marketing efforts by utilizing the MomentFeed solution. We provide the tools and reporting features that one needs to do so effectively. This is a program we’ll be building out.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind MomentFeed? Was there an “aha” moment, or was the idea longer in developing?
Reed: I was looking deeply at the LBS space from the consumer perspective in 2009 and first considered building a consumer LBS application. The “a-ha” moment came when I saw how crowded the space was becoming. Given the premise that “Location-Based Engagements (LBE)” like check-ins and on-the-spot reviews were supremely valuable to brands and my belief that the space would continue to fragment as opposed to consolidate, the case for MomentFeed became pretty clear. This was well before Facebook, Google, and Twitter entered the market. So our overarching mission now is to report to our clients whenever a consumer engages with one of their locations via any smartphone application, together with the ability to reciprocate those engagements. We approach the space from the brand perspective, which is a unique way to view it. They don’t care which apps consumers use; they just want to understand and leverage LBE activity on a comprehensive basis.
SUB: When was the company founded, and what were the first steps you took to establishing it?
Reed: I formed the company in April of 2010. The first steps were to design the product, sign up beta customers, and deliver the MVP (minimum viable product). So we launched our beta in January with about 10,000 locations participating.
SUB: You recently raised a $1.2 million seed round. How do you plan to use the funds?
Reed: We’re growing our engineering team first in order to deliver v1.0 of the product. The first hire is a Front-End/UI Developer with Ruby experience if you know of anyone in the Santa Monica area! Then we’ll build our sales and marketing team.
SUB: What have the biggest obstacles been so far to building MomentFeed and making it what you’ve envisioned it to be?
Reed: MomentFeed represents a new paradigm in social media monitoring, campaign management, and CRM. The old paradigm is based around keywords as the primary signal…monitoring for brand mentions or conversations. The old paradigm is PC and browser based. The new model is smartphone and application based. It uses place as the primary signal. And place is much more complex. You have the latitude and longitude where it exists, which is permanent; the physical structure and the business/brand associated with that place, which is temporary, and then all of the digital representations of that place in so many databases. Plus, it’s in a constant state of flux as businesses close and open. So it’s a tremendous challenge to pull all of this data together and make sense of it for marketers. We’re blazing new ground.
SUB: What are your goals for the company over the next year? Where do you see MomentFeed in about a year from now?
Reed: The goal is to build and awesome service for our clients that moves the needle and delivers clear ROI. We couldn’t be more bullish on the LBE channel and its marketing potential. What’s missing are the proper tools, and that’s what we’re building.
MomentFeed – www.momentfeed.com