SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lithium Technologies, the leader in Social Customer Experience, today announced it has raised $50 million in pre-IPO mezzanine financing to further advance its technology platform, expand its global footprint and execute strategic acquisitions to accelerate growth.
Lithium secured the new financing from a syndicate of global institutional investors along with existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA). This group of sophisticated investors brings substantial public market experience to Lithium and strong validation of its ongoing market opportunity. Allen & Company served as financial advisor to Lithium.
Lithium transforms how leading global brands build customer-to-customer (C2C) interactions that improve the customer service experience, increase revenue and crowdsource innovation. Lithium has an impressive network of digital properties that attract over 75 million monthly unique visitors. The latest companies to tap Lithium for customer engagement include Axiom Telecom, Barclays and eBay, among others.
The financing crowns a year of strong industry validation of Lithium’s leadership position and rapid growth. In just the last six months, Lithium has announced it received recognition as a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Center in 2013, as a leader in the “The Forrester Wave™: Social Depth Platforms, Q3 2013”, and as a Major Player in IDC’s Innovation Management Solutions MarketScape report.
Additionally today, Lithium announced two key leadership appointments that extend its strength and will guide its next phase of growth. Lithium named former Yahoo! executive Tapan Bhat as Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer to drive ongoing product strategy, and appointed NEA Venture Partner Brooke Seawell to its board of directors as audit committee chairman.
“It’s great to welcome a group of strong public equity buyers to our investor base,” said Lithium President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Tarkoff. “We have an enormous market opportunity, amazing customers, and stronger leadership and financial resources to build Lithium into a long-term, global company. We can grow aggressively without distraction while we consider the right timing for a public market offering.”
Peter Fenton, Benchmark Capital General Partner and member of the Lithium, Yelp and Twitter boards of directors, said: “Several of our top portfolio companies are allowing themselves the right amount of runway to continue their rapid growth while perfecting their operating success. We advise our high-growth companies to access public markets at the right time and on their own terms.”
Chief Product Officer Tapan Bhat brings vast consumer web technology experience
Reporting directly to Lithium CEO Tarkoff, Bhat is responsible for the entire planning and direction of all Lithium products in his role as Chief Product Officer.
With more than 20 years of product leadership experience at companies such as Adobe, Intuit and Yahoo!, Bhat brings depth and breadth in consumer web, mobile and social products. His past responsibilities include high-profile digital initiatives such as Quicken.com and numerous Yahoo! products including the Yahoo! home page, My Yahoo! and various social products such as Yahoo! Groups, Flickr and Yahoo! Answers.
New board member Brooke Seawell further strengthens senior strategic leadership
As the newest member of Lithium’s board and chair of its audit committee, Seawell cements Lithium’s board leadership with more than 30 years experience in technology finance and operations.
A veteran technology leader with expertise in software, systems and Internet companies, Seawell has vast public board experience and a successful track record of helping guide numerous companies to successful initial public offerings. Seawell currently serves on the boards of directors of Tableau Software, Informatica, NVIDIA, Glu Mobile, SiTime, SugarCRM, and Technical Communities.
“I am really pumped up about the addition of Tapan to our management team and Brooke to our Board. Both will add amazing new skill sets to our existing world-class team,” Tarkoff said.
About Lithium Technologies
Lithium social software helps companies unlock the passion of their customers. Lithium powers amazing social customer experiences for more than 300 iconic brands including AT&T, BT, Best Buy, Indosat, Sephora, Skype and Telstra. The 100% SaaS-based Lithium Social Customer Experience™ platform enables brands to build and engage vibrant customer communities to drive sales, reduce service costs, accelerate innovation and grow brand advocacy. For more information, visit lithium.com, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own community–the Lithosphere. Lithium is privately held with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and offices across Europe, Asia and Australia.
The Lithium® logo is a registered Service Mark of Lithium Technologies. All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.