In November 2009, I met a young man named Joe Fernandez. A good friend of mine, Michael Yavonditte, told me Joe was working on something intriguing and that I had to meet him. Joe came to ff Venture Capital with the idea for a business that would measure and quantify a person’s online social influence: Klout.
I immediately was drawn to the company for two reasons:
1. Joe and his then-fledgling team were passionate, tenacious and fearless.
2. Klout had massive potential to change the way people thought about their social footprint on the web. Yet at that point, hardly anyone else believed it. The first round of financing took five months to close.
So, ff Venture Capital led Klout’s Series A round in April 2010, and I joined the company’s board. The ffVC team and I worked with Joe and his team over the following years. We supported, mentored, advised and challenged the company. We watched them grow in many ways: size, maturity, core values, and clarity around vision.
Four years later: More than 200,000 companies use Klout for Business, a suite of enterprise tools. There are 10,000 businesses using Klout's API. There have been 500 Klout Perk campaigns. In addition, Klout has powerful partnerships with many organizations, including Salesforce and Microsoft. Klout pulls data from half a billion people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. The Klout database handles 2 billion API calls each day. Klout has become a well known brand to millions of people worldwide.
But most importantly, Klout has maintained authenticity. Klout's mission remains the same: To empower everyone to understand and leverage their influence.
Today, I am proud to see Klout take the next step in its journey as the company joins forces with Lithium Technologies. This is a strong alliance and one that we are proud to be investors in from the get-go.
Congratulations to Joe and the rest of the team.
John Frankel and the ff Venture Capital team