According to a MarketsandMarkets report published last October, the global content marketing platform market is estimated to grow from $4.12 billion in 2018 to $9.59 billion by 2023. That translates to an annualized growth rate of more than 18% over the five-year period. New York-based Percolate is among the leading content marketing solutions providers in the market. Here is its story.
Percolate was founded in 2011 by Noah Brier and James Gross who wanted to build a marketing platform that could help brands grow in a world that was being transformed by the social and mobile technology trends. It wanted to help organizations figure out what content they could share on social media and help them manage their social media activity. Given the viral nature of social media, brands need to co-ordinate with large teams across a number of geographies to produce and share content quickly on evolving platforms. The marketers need to present a message that is brand safe, and won’t get them in legal or social troubles. The founders realized that in social media marketing, the challenge was not customer service and dealing with fan pages but about creating content.
To help marketers navigate through this challenge, Percolate’s platform offers end-to-end content development tools, ranging from a calendar for planning to a library for sourcing and licensing content, ability to edit images and long-form writing content, ability to collaborate, a workflow for required process and legal approvals, and an analytics engine to measure the performance of content. Its solutions have helped bring more visibility into the marketing process by improving the coordination of work and effectively building marketing campaigns and content. It has built strong integrations into social platforms such as LinkedIn and Pinterest to deliver more value to the marketing teams. Its product was so well liked by the market that by 2014 Forrester had ranked it as the leader in social relationship platforms.
Today, Percolate calls itself The System of Record for Marketing. Its use cases spread across multiple industries including Financial Services, Retail, Industrial, Technology, Healthcare, and CPG. Its customers include several Fortune 500 companies including names like Mastercard, Cisco, Cigna, Electronic Arts, and Bosch. Recently, Percolate was also ranked as the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms.
Percolate is privately held and does not disclose its financials. It earns revenues through licensing of its software and through the other professional services, it provides to marketers to help manage campaigns. Its revenue and profitability figures are not known.
Percolate has raised $74.5 million in funding so far at undisclosed valuations. It has raised funding from Slow Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital, Lerer Hippeau, First Round Capital, Transmedia Capital, Advancit Capital, and WPP Ventures. Its last round of funding was held in May 2015 when it raised $40 million.
Overall, the digital marketing platform market is dominated by big names such as Oracle and Adobe. These vendors are more focused on the technology involved in the delivery of marketing content instead of the creation and management of content. Percolate’s closest competitors are NewsCred and Contently, who were both present in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner’s report as well. Both these vendors provide similar services as Percolate. Should Percolate now prepare to add other small, capital-efficient startups to grow to the next level? How else does it plan to differentiate itself from its competitors?