Salesforce And Adobe Make Strategic Investment In LiveFyre

LiveFyre CloudLiveFyre revealed Thursday it had raised $32 million in strategic investments from Salesforce Ventures and Adobe as part of a Series D round, in addition to $15 million in C2 financing in 2014.

LiveFyre, which started out as a commenting platform, now markets itself as a hub of user-generated content for brands and publishers.

The strategic investment will enable LiveFyre to build integrations between its platform and Salesforce and Adobe, though LiveFyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer declined to detail further. Salesforce and Adobe declined to comment.

Integrations with Salesforce and Adobe would likely center on improving the flow of content throughout their respective marketing clouds.

For example, an integration would make it easier for marketers to populate a Salesforce ExactTarget email with tweets and Instagram posts created via LiveFyre.

LiveFyre’s microsites, which marketers can create themselves, could sit on top of a more complex site designed, optimized and monitored with Adobe.

“A lot of the brands we work with are transitioning from a strategy where they were focusing on building audiences on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and are realizing they need to take a step back and invest in their own properties,” Kretchmer said. As organic reach drops, “it costs them a lot of money to engage this audience on Facebook and Twitter.”

Most of the $47 million in funding will power future investments in LiveFyre Studio, Kretchmer said. All LiveFyre customers use the Studio to build sites, assemble social content via LiveFyre’s Storify acquisition, or manage comments.

LiveFyre’s publisher clients include Hearst’s Car and Driver magazine, which used LiveFyre to build a page for the Detroit Auto Show against which it sold a sponsorship. Univision created a World Cup-themed page that T-Mobile sponsored.

“It’s about managing social media content that they can collect and reuse on their owned and operated properties,” Kretchmer said.

By the end of the year, LiveFyre expects half of its customers to be brands. But while publishers have cachet that brings audiences, how will a brand bring audiences to its URL?

Paid media, Kretchmer said. That includes social. “Brands can use Facebook as a paid channel to drive traffic to owned-and-operated properties, instead of to liking a fan page. At the end of the day it’s paid media driving you to experiences.”

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