Vancouver’s Hootsuite Eyes Asia Pacific As Next Target

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Vancouver-based social media dashboard startup Hootsuite is planning to “aggressively ramp up” its efforts in Asia Pacific, focusing on Hong Kong, South East Asia, Japan, and Australia.

As part of that announcement, the company also announced it has hired Ken Mandel as managing director for Asia Pacific. Previously of Salesforce Marketing Cloud for APAC, Mandel led Buddy Media’s growth as its first hire, until it was acquired by Salesforce.com in 2012. Mandel is now responsible for HootSuite’s regional growth strategy and rapid expansion with Enterprise customers.

“I’m thrilled to join HootSuite at this time of incredible growth,” said Mandel, who is based in Singapore. “With our current momentum and global expansion plans the APAC market holds tremendous unlocked potential in the enterprise business sphere. I look forward to building a strong regional team and enhancing HootSuite’s presence in APAC.”

And indeed the company is undergoing incredible growth. In August the company received one of the years’ largest rounds of global venture capital funding of US $165 million. That round represented the largest round of venture capital ever in Canada. Now it calls itself “the world’s most popular social relationship management platform”.

Following the huge funding round, many speculated that Hootsuite would primarily spend on acquisitions, but thus far it seems most of the investment is going into international expansion as well as hiring in Vancouver.

The company’s Enterprise offering provides advanced social business tools and services that help large organizations with social engagement, team collaboration, analytics and security, something it is trying to play up in the APAC region. It seems to be doing the company well: in Q3 Hootsuite reported a 20% increase in growth, with 53 APAC-based enterprise clients. It already offers its product in 15 fully translated dashboard languages, including Thai, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional.

Currently some of the companies that Hootsuite calls clients includes the Australian Red Cross, Jetstar Airways, and the City of Sydney. HootSuite is also used by Virgin, PepsiCo, Sony Music, FOX, and 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies. It has grown its “unique culture” rapidly with 370 employees up from just over 70 in early 2012.