Bentonville's Collective Bias Secures $10.5 Million In Funding

Collective Bias, the shopper-oriented social marketing and advertising firm headquartered in Bentonville, has secured $10.5 million in funding.

Updata Partners of Washington D.C. led the Series A investment round and the financing will help Collective Bias continue to expand and grow its technology platform. Collective Bias was founded in 2009 and now has offices in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Toronto and London.

"We believe that social shopper marketing is the evolution of shopper media, and supplants tired traditional media like FSI’s, retail circulars and digital display advertising," John Andrews, co-founder and CEO of Collective Bias, said in a statement. "This investment round provides Collective Bias with runway to extend our four year leadership role in this new media category. We will employ these dollars to robustly enhance our Social Fabric content management platform, enter new markets and grow our team."

Collective Bias uses social media channels to engage customers and utilizes what it describes as a "proprietary community of over 1,400 shopping-focused influencers, blending members’ shopping experience and product usage through engaging stories that are published online and shared with like-minded friends and followers." That network, according to the company, provides an aggregate reach of more than 50 million people.

Tyson Foods Inc., Nestle and Smart & Final are among Collective Bias' clients. In a December interview with the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, Andrews said the company's revenues for 2012 were between $7 million and $8 million.

"Harnessing the power of social media to drive brand recognition, loyalty and sales are C-level priorities for consumer-focused companies, and Collective Bias has a record of delivering impressive results for its customers," said Jon Seeber of Updata Partners.

James Socas, a general partner at Updata Partners, added, "Collective Bias' combination of shopper marketing expertise and brand and retail experience are a powerful combination in the new era of marketing, and we look forward to helping them drive even more value and growth."

Updata Partners is a leading technology-focused growth equity firm with nearly $500 million of capital under management.