In honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the team at Media Badger took a break from its $2 million fundraising effort to analyze Canadians’ sentiment toward the leading Royals, as revealed by online comments in Canada.
Her Majesty will no doubt be tickled pink to know her positive sentiment reading has more than doubled in the last four years. Prince Charles has a lower profile, but his positive sentiment performance doubled in just two years, whereas his handsome eldest son draws the most commentary, almost all of it steadily favourable.
This survey reveals the type of creativity that backs up the Halifax social media analysis firm’s claim that it is the global leader in “providing critical, actionable intelligence to government, IGOs and the private sector.” It is also giving CEO Giles Crouch and his team the confidence to tackle its substantial fundraising round.
Crouch has been soliciting funds since November and says he now has narrowed the list of possible investors to three, two of whom are looking very positive indeed. He expects Media Badger will close a $2 million financing within 60 days. The company previously raised about $200,000 in angel funding two years ago.
The company will use the money to develop its social media analysis software into a product, so Media Badger will transform from a pure consultancy into a software-as-a-service company as well, selling its analysis system to clients. The company expects to have a working prototype ready for beta-testing in November.
That would be no mean feat, given that it must maintain the industry-leading consulting business during the development. What’s special about the Media Badger software, Crouch said in an interview yesterday, is that it goes beyond simple brand analysis.
“When it comes to brand analysis and marketing through social media, it is a crowded playing field,” said Crouch. “But our software is next-generation in sentiment analysis.”
Media Badger focuses on deep sentiment analysis in such fields as corporate social responsibility, corporate security in foreign countries and public policy. It doesn’t just calculate how many people love or hate something, but tries to dissect bodies of opinion, especially in foreign countries.
For example, Media Badger recently performed an analysis for the Foreign Affairs Department in Ottawa on sentiment in Haiti. Its corporate clients include large mining companies operating in Africa or other developing regions, and Media Badger helps them to probe the sentiment in these companies and devise strategies that avoid conflict with local populations.
(As an aside, Crouch said it is a popular misconception that the public at large in these nations has no access to social media. Internet cafes are tremendously popular, and quite often one person in a large building will buy an internet connection and sell connectivity to his neighbours.)
This industry-leading position in a critical niche has led to strong growth: the company now has offices in Halifax, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary and London, England. It employs eight people, and has a network of 17 consultants around the world.