Lithium and Spredfast merge into a social management/customer care platform
The companies said that each boosted the other’s weak spot.
San Francisco-based Lithium primarily focuses on social communities and digital customer care. Spredfast, headquartered in Austin, is known for its tools to manage social media campaigns and responses.
Today, the two companies announced they are merging into what they describe as “the industry’s most comprehensive customer engagement platform.” The move is being undertaken as the acquisition of Spredfast by Vista Equity Partners, which owns Lithium and will combine the two companies. Deal terms were not made public.
The name for the new firm has not yet been chosen, Lithium CEO Pete Hess told me, and could be Lithium, Spredfast or something new. He added that the unnamed combo and the combined platform will offer “the most robust care and [social] marketing functionality.”
The companies say their combined customer base is over 2,000 brands in a hundred countries, representing half a billion customer touch points daily. Their customers include T-Mobile, Comcast, eBay, GoDaddy, HP, PayPal, Microsoft and ESPN.
The idea, the companies say, is that the joint platform will be able to manage all of a brand’s customer interaction efforts, including social communities, social platforms and customer care via social and other digital tools.
Hess said that his company has been strong in social communities and digital customer care, while its social marketing solution, called Reach, was “nascent.” Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron painted the opposite scenario, describing his firm’s social media marketing suite as “strong,” while its customer care components were “not as robust” as Lithium’s.
Together, they said, the new platform represents a merger of marketing and customer service. Given that much of today’s marketing offers two-way communication, the distinction between social marketing and digital customer care has become increasingly blurred.
The resulting hybrid company, which will be based in San Francisco, will maintain Spredfast’s Austin presence as its largest office. Hess will become CEO of the new company, and Favaron told me he “will be part of the team during the interim.”
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