When most Major League players retire from baseball, they live out their retirement in relaxation…but for long time LA Dodger and 2 time All-Star Shawn Green, this is not the case. The former first round draft pick, after retiring, recognized a gap in the branding and content creation sphere and cofounded Greenfly. Greenfly provides a workflow solution for companies to collaborate on branded content creation to help companies connect with fans and spread the company’s message through integrated social offerings. The Santa-Monica based company, a graduate of the Dodgers accelerator, recently partnered with Cannes Lion and Minor League Baseball to maximize brand influence.
LA TechWatch chatted with cofounder and CEO Daniel Kirschner about the company’s recent funding and the vision for the startup.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $8.5 million in Series B funding. This round brings Greenfly’s total funding to date to $14.7 million. The financing round was led by Alpha Edison with participation from earlier investors Iconica Partners, Elysian Park, and Corazon Capital.
Tell us about your product or service.
Greenfly is a software platform that enables brands to collaborate with their valued advocates to create and deploy powerful digital content.
The original spark for Greenfly came out of Shawn Green’s interaction with media and brands after retiring from Major League Baseball and seeing the incredible effort involved in connecting for a simple statement, a short video, or a photo. His original notion was to build a workflow solution that would connect the media to experts to get their opinions, automate all of those interactions, and take advantage of mobile technology.
How is it different?
While other companies are entering parts of the content creation and deployment space, only Greenfly provides a comprehensive workflow solution for companies to collaborate with their own network of advocates to create branded content and share branded content to the most relevant social channels.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Almost any company or organization that is trying to connect with the public and share stories on social and other digital media is a potential customer. These days, most companies have developed relationships with ambassadors, advocates, employees, and fans who can authentically create and share branded content featuring the brands products and services they love. Right now we have clients that range from large enterprises, with dedicated social media staff and a need for content at scale, to small and medium size businesses.
What’s your business model?
Greenfly is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that charges a subscription fee for the use of its technology.
What are some of the preferred was to measure the effectiveness of content in your experience?
Greenfly is a private platform for brands to work with their own network of contributors. Greenfly is not in the business of creating content or sourcing advocates or influencers, so effectiveness is based upon business KPIs and may differ for each of our clients.
What was the funding process like?
We were lucky to have great early investors who have continued to support us along the way, and a great new partner in Alpha Edison. Early funding rounds are about vision and possibility. It was great this round to be able to show how that early vision has connected with traction and growth.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
This round was very different than early rounds because we had demonstrated product-market fit and tremendous traction. For us, the biggest challenge was finding the right new partner that shared our vision for what’s next and would be another key, helpful member of the family of investors we’ve already built. Alpha Edison, because their focus is helping entrepreneurs not simply scale their success, but see the path to realizing the full potential of their business.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our investors understand that the market has continued to fundamentally shift in our direction as more advertising dollars and focus are on connecting authentically and directly via social media with audiences as more traditional advertising methods have lost their power. We created a new market in collaborative brand storytelling, and we’re leading that new market.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
It sounds simple, but the next six months are about growing the team and continuing to support and drive value to our growing customer base.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Focus. Find what’s working and put the limited resources you have there. You have to have the courage to tune out adjacent opportunities and maintain a clear sense of what is special about your company and how you can build on that.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We will continue to scale rapidly in order to meet the demand of our growing client base. We will build our substantial development team to continue to deliver robust features for our enterprise customers, expanding their ability to create and share authentic content at scale.
What is your favorite LA bar, when you need to kick back and relax?
I’m a big fan of Father’s Office. A great beer selection, and some of the best pub food anywhere.