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With $22M, Brandwatch will listen to the social web — like every company in 2009

Social media monitoring

Brandwatch helps brands monitor and analyze conversations across Twitter, Facebook, and millions of other sites.

Imagine that.

Although Brandwatch sits in an increasingly crowded space — it feels like every third startup today monitors social media — the U.K.-based social listening and analytics startup has racked up a solid customer base. After nearly seven years in the market, it’s signed up more than 1,000 brands, including clients like Verizon, Pepsi, and Whole Foods. The company says it’s coming off “another” year of 100 percent revenue growth.

The folks over at Highline Capital Partners Europe are clearly bullish on Brandwatch. The venture capital firm led a $22 million funding round in the social-listening startup, Brandwatch announced today. Existing investor Nauta Capital, which led a $6 million financing in Brandwatch in 2012, also participated in the new funding round.

The company competes with social media monitoring companies like Synthesio, Crimson Hexagon, Mention, and countless others. It also has a frenemy in HootSuite, which partnered with Brandwatch in September but bought competing analytics company UberVu in January.

Brandwatch thinks its “focus and heritage” set it apart from the pack.

“Being focused entirely on social listening gives us expertise and drive that competitors just don’t have,” Brandwatch CEO Giles Palmer told VentureBeat.

“We crawl and store the data ourselves, which, when coupled with our large, dedicated development resource, allows us to be agile in responding to any changes in the marketplace. This control over our technology is also a mindset we try to encompass in our product offering, as our platform offers far more flexibility, customization, and data manipulation than any other vendor.”

Brandwatch intends to use its new cash injection to double its engineering and product staff, triple its physical infrastructure budget, and expand in North America, Latin America, and Asia.

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