When it comes to tracking mentions of a brand or person online, it doesn’t get much simpler than Google Alerts. But several companies have started taking a more comprehensive approach to monitoring online content, including Trendspottr’s trending content alerts service, to track online mentions. BetaKit covered French startup Mention when it launched publicly in October 2012, and today the company is announcing it has raised $800,000 in seed funding for its platform, which attempts to reinvent Google Alerts.
Today’s funding round comes from Paris-based Alven Capital and Berlin-based Point Nine Capital. Mention co-founder Edouard de La Jonquière said the company will be using the funding to hire, as well as to build out the platform. “Our primary focus will to develop the product to make it even more collaborative,” he said in an interview. “We notice a trend that tends to make monitoring and community management collaborative, meaning that several people within a team work together on engaging with their community and customers.”
Mention’s platform is targeted at companies monitoring their brand or doing competitive research, and lets individual users or several users at one company set up alerts for their name, a company name, keyword, or their competitors’ names. Users get alerts whenever there’s a mention online or on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, with the ability to monitor across 42 languages. Alerts can be accessed via the Mac and Windows desktop apps, via the Chrome plug-in, the iPhone or Android apps, or using the web app. Coworkers can share alerts and assign tasks, the idea being that users can react quickly to anything that requires a reply.
The platform is available for free for up to three alerts and 500 mentions per month, with a $19.99 per month pro plan available that has added analytics, showing information on the sources and the frequency of their mentions, as well as comparisons with competitors. The company also offers a team plans starting at $99.95 per month, which scales in price based on how many team members need access.
Since launching publicly in October, the company has doubled its user base to 50,000 users, including startups, PR firms, and Fortune 500 companies, and they have paying customers from 46 countries (though they aren’t disclosing what percentage of their user base have paid accounts). While until now they’ve been based in France, the company is planning to relocate to the U.S., since half of their revenues are from U.S. customers. The company hasn’t finalized where it will move, but Jonquière said San Francisco or New York City are likely options.
The company is currently developing an iPad app, and is planning to launch a revamped version of its platform sometime this year. With a core team that includes the founders of e-founders and fotolia and a growing user base, the company seems to be finding its niche with SMBs looking for better monitoring. But with Google Alerts available for free, and other services like Trendspottr looking to provide beefed up alerts functionality, the company will need to fend off competitors while proving that paying for keyword tracking is worth it for teams looking to react in real-time.