October 7, 2011, 2:38 PM

Banyan Branch Raises $1.7 Million in a Funding Round

Banyan Branch is a full-service social media agency.

SEATTLE, WA – October 3, 2011 – Banyan Branch, a full-service social media agency that provides end-to-end marketing services for the world's leading brands, today announced it has secured $1.7 million in growth funding from a group of private investors. The company plans to use the capital to accelerate growth into key verticals and continue investment in repeatable, scalable social media processes, media buying and technology for its clients. Over the past 12 months, Banyan Branch has experienced almost 100 percent revenue growth and has significantly expanded its Fortune 500 client base in the technology, consumer services, retail and pharmaceutical markets.

A group of elite investors and entrepreneurs participated in the Series A growth round, including Bob Gay, CEO and co-founder of Huntsman Gay Global Capital; Bill Bryant, venture partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson;  Geoff Entress, venture partner at Voyager Capital; Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics; Chase Franklin, co-founder and former CEO of Qpass; Taft Price, co-founder of Oakley Networks;  Adam Gross, Chief Marketing Officer, The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.; Andrew Garnock, private investor;  and John Morris, president of West Olympic Investments.  In conjunction with the financing round, Seattle angel investor Geoff Entress will join Banyan Branch’s Board of Directors.

As adoption of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube experience explosive growth and brands look to engage directly with consumers via these channels, demand for social marketing services has increased dramatically. Having focused on social media since its founding, Banyan Branch offers a unique mix of technology and services that were developed specifically for social environments. The agency has also invested in systematizing its processes, enabling it to rapidly scale to meet increased market demand – analyzing program successes, identifying best practices and developing methodologies and technology that facilitate repeatable success. Banyan Branch manages comprehensive social media programs for the some of the world’s biggest and most recognizable brands such as Disney, Porsche, FOX, Microsoft, Paramount, Hartz, Univision and Gilt Groupe.

"Social media has become pervasive within our culture, giving brands a way to create ongoing conversations and build lasting relationships with consumers," said incoming board member Geoff Entress.  "By bringing a scientific, scalable approach to the massive social marketing opportunity, Banyan Branch has established itself as a leader in the agency landscape and a partner that big brands can rely on to create repeatable success with their social media initiatives."

Banyan Branch is led by an executive team with a unique mix of social and technology experience. Banyan Branch Co-founder and Principal Dave Hanley helped establish Shelfari as a leading social book sharing site that was sold to Amazon in 2008, while President Blake Cahill was previously chief marketing officer at Visible Technologies, a social media monitoring technology platform. Chief Creative Director and Co-founder Alex Garcia helped develop the web strategy for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and was previously vice president of new media for Drive-Thru Records (Geffen). In 2010, Garcia was named to Puget Sound Business Journal’s list of "40 under 40."

"As social becomes integrated into consumers' daily activity online, brands are rethinking their marketing strategies and are looking for a partner that can deliver results in social channels time and time again," said Blake Cahill, president and principal at Banyan Branch. "We've developed an innovative approach distinct from the conventional Madison Avenue model by building upon our experience as senior executives within the tech industry and focusing on making campaign success more than just a one-time occurrence."

"This funding not only validates our unique methodology and positions us to expand into new verticals, it also allows us to continue helping brands meet their business objectives by delivering unprecedented consumer engagement within social platforms," said Dave Hanley, co-founder and principal at Banyan Branch.

For more information on Banyan Branch's thoughts and perspectives on the world of social media, please visit the agency’s blog at http://www.banyanbranch.com/social-blog/ or follow Banyan Branch on Twitter: http://twitter.com/banyanbranch.

About Banyan Branch

Banyan Branch, based in Seattle, WA, is a full-service social media agency that provides end-to-end marketing services including strategy, creative, execution and analytics. With a holistic approach that integrates Strategy, Social Media Creative, Engagement and Research & Analytics, Banyan Branch delivers social media programs unmatched by smaller agencies, while providing more personalized service and quicker response than large-scale digital firms. Dozens of the world's leading brands, including FOX, Viacom, Paramount, Hartz, Univision, Gilt Groupe, Microsoft and Windstar Cruises have partnered with Banyan Branch to implement a wide variety of social media campaigns. Any company ready to connect with its customers where they live and breathe, can contact Banyan Branch via www.BanyanBranch.com

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