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Manzama raises $1.3M to keep more people from drowning in information

Drowning information laptop Jirsak Shutterstock
Image Credit: Jirsak/Shutterstock

Manzama, a startup with cloud-based software that helps law firms stay on top of key information about their clients, is expanding into consulting and financial services markets, thanks to some fresh money.

The startup announced today a $1.3 million round of new funding.

The money shows investors believe lots of companies ought to have tools that can let people easily tracking critical developments, rather than open- or closed source text-analysis tools that require extensive tinkering in order to use. That’s part of the appeal of social-focused Radian6, which Salesforce.com acquired, as well as analytics-rich social media firehose providers like DataSift and Gnip, which Twitter bought.

But Manzama’s software is more diverse than those services. It mines social media messages, newspaper articles, blog posts, and other sources of text for important tidbits. It also allows companies to bring in other information sources that Manzama can then analyze alongside other sources.

The tool could be helpful for brands, which tend to care about how customers perceive them and use that to improve their marketing campaigns and put out corporate fires as soon as possible.

At law firms and other types of professional services shops, monitoring not only means better service but also directly leads to new customers and new opportunities.

“Manzama is a portal to content for the professional,” said Peter Ozolin, chief executive and a co-founder of Manzama, in an interview with VentureBeat.

Say you work at a law firm with an expertise in merger and acquisitions.

“There might be 60,000 stories a month on merger subject matter,” Ozolin said. “Maybe what you really want to know is what’s going on with merger activities in Latin America, in the renewable energy sector. [Using] easy kind of filters at Manzama, you will see what companies are trending up, you will see if any of your clients are mentioned, are they merging-sort-of topics or issues related to that, and you can filter against that certain information very easily.”

Gold Bench Capital led the new round. Seven Peaks and Cascade Angels joined the round. The new funding will be used to grow the team and to expand to new professional services markets worldwide.

Manzama has started in 2010, and to date it has raised $3.25 million. It has 125 enterprise-level customers.

The startup is based in Bend, Ore., and has 32 full-time employees. It plans to expand its headcount aggressively in the next six months.