Opinion merchant Swipp snags another $2M in funding

Swipp, the much-hyped app for sharing your opinions, has nabbed an additional $2 million in funding.

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Above: Swipp’s app asks you to share your opinions

After emerging from stealth mode in June 2012, Swipp has marketed its app to consumers. Sign up via Facebook to share with other Swipp fans (and brands) how you feel about products, news, and other topics. You can also access a real-time stream if you’re simply curious about what people think.

With its new infusion of funding, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company also announced the launch of “Swipp Plus,” a new business offering. Brands can pay to access relevant data; for instance, a major retailer might be interested to learn about how customers are reacting to its new spring line.

I downloaded the free app and gave it a try. The experience felt a bit awkward — I don’t personally know many of the folks on my Swipp stream — and frankly, don’t really care what they think about a scene from Die Hard. But Swipp is betting that most people love to share and that this information will prove useful to big brands.

Moreover, the data brands are collecting from Facebook and Twitter is often unstructured and scattered. So Swipp may have a real opportunity to pull in revenues if it can reach a critical mass of consumers.

Brands like Macy’s or McDonald’s can use the app to pinpoint top influencers — those who frequently “Swipp” their products. The company says marketers can also use the app to keep tabs on the competition and track how their products are perceived over time.

A Swipp Plus dashboard for brands

Above: A Swipp Plus dashboard for brands

Swipp is hoping you’ll use the app as an alternative to — or alongside — Facebook and Twitter.

“We look at social as it is today as version 1.0. It’s really just the first instance,” Swipp CEO and co-founder Don Thorson told VentureBeat in a recent interview. “What kind of applications would the world come up with if you had everyone persistently connected on the globe?”

Swipp isn’t the only app that is gauging consumer sentiment. Knotch uses a color scale (as opposed to Swipp’s smiley face) and asks consumers to express how they feel about anything from the latest Game of Thrones episode to their experience at the gym. Likewise, Knotch intends to make money by helping brands target consumers. “For marketers, this data is really valuable,” Knotch’s CEO Anda Gansca said in a recent interview.

This new infusion of cash brings Swipp’s total funding to $5.5 million. Venture firm Old Willow Partners lead the previous funding round.


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