In Social, don’t stop at like. Go for love. We love you Vitrue!

Posted by on May 23, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

Vitrue is a leading cloud-based social marketing and engagement platform that enables marketers to centrally create, publish, moderate, manage, measure and report on their social marketing campaigns and activities on social media platforms such as FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

Social is a global phenomenon, with huge demand in Europe, from both multinationals headquartered here or with a local presence in Europe, but also mid-size and smaller businesses. Marketers have quickly realised that Social is a remarkable opportunity and platform to build a direct dialogue with customers, listen to their feedback and turn them into brand advocates. Two years ago we saw the depth of demand in Europe from marketers at all levels, looking for better ways and tools to manage this dialogue, in an efficient, scalable and analytical way. We decided to back a company in this space and started looking for the best team to partner with. Atlanta-based Vitrue quickly emerged as the most promising company on a global basis in this market. We swiftly decided to back the team and particularly support their expansion in Europe.

Vitrue is precisely the type of company we love to back, hitting all our criteria:

- A large and fast-growing market
- A proven model, with an ability to scale capital-efficiently
- A highly differentiated business and product, likely to attract strategic acquirers
- A formidable entrepreneur and leader, backed by a fantastic team
- A big opportunity in Europe, where we can help

Our model is simple. We seek to back exceptional companies in areas we have very high conviction and expertise, and where we know we can support the teams. We do few deals because we want to provide a senior level of service to the entrepreneurs we back, with real support in areas where we can help make a difference (recruitment for instance, but also business and corporate development, strategy, PR etc.), dedicating quality time and not just simply during board meetings. A year on and we have a great team in Europe at Vitrue, with some fantastic customer wins and a market presence with strong momentum. We are very proud to have been part of this first phase of the Vitrue adventure, and are convinced that the partnership with Oracle will now enable them to dominate this vertical.

Social, Cloud and Mobile are the key platforms that drive our investment strategy. We want to back entrepreneurs that will leverage these platforms to create great businesses. At this point in time, we have never seen businesses able to scale so fast, so internationally and so capital-efficiently as now. Vitrue is a wonderful illustration of the opportunity to build on Cloud, Social and Mobile, from anywhere in the world - as Vitrue did from Atlanta initially, and now expanding all across the US, Latin America and Europe.

Beyond being a great return, and the 4th strategic exit within 15 months for our team, Vitrue has also been a formidable entrepreneurial story and an amazing human adventure. We have been delighted to be part of it and wish the team the best in the next phase of building its business. Vitrue’s latest ad campaign is about the fact that “Like can never replace love”. We could not agree more. The world’s greatest brands aren’t built on clicks. They’re built by creating meaningful relationships with real people. This is what we pride ourselves on as well as we build our investment business, partnering with exceptional people. So don’t stop at like. Go for love. We love you Vitrue!

Follow Frederic on Twitter at @fcourt