Vision, potential and execution give Social Status the winning trifecta in The Big Pitch


Its ability to execute, potential and overall vision led to social media analytics startup Social Status winning The Big Pitch on Tuesday night and with it a chance at $1 million in funding.


The startup, a graduate of the Wollongong-based iAccelerate program, has developed a tool which automates social media reporting for marketers, providing tailored recommendations aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses improve engagement rates.


Social Status co-founder Tim Hill pitched for $1 million in funding outlining plans to grow 7% week-on-week and become a $100 million revenue company in two years’ time. Currently, Social Status only services Facebook, but it plans to add analytics for YouTube, Twitter and Instagram which Hill says will protect the startup should any of those social media platforms roll out similar products.


“2014 will go down in history as the first year Aussie advertisers spent more money online than they did on TV. Social Status enables marketers to quantify the impact of their social media marketing,” he says.


“We have marketers saying to us they spend eight hours a week doing social reporting. That costs the business $14,000 a year and we think that’s insane.”


Social Status uses a freemium model – it’s free to sign up, $49 per month for the pro plan and $199 per month for a premium plan.


Social Status beat four other finalists including gaming social network Gamurs, video storytelling social network Storie, videomaker Biteable and low cost satellite provider Fleet.


It was Fleet founder Flavia Tata Nardini that took out the people’s choice award, winning the audience over with an ambitious goal of bringing cheap internet to the entire world.


Larry Kestelman, founder of The Big Pitch, and one of five judges on the night says it was the vision, potential and ability to execute that set Social Status apart from the other four finalists.


“As a combination of where the product is at, the vision and the person presenting it, and with some modification and feedback on where this business can grow, the potential is enormous,” he says.


Social Status will now enter negotiations with Oxygen Ventures to see if they can come to terms for a $1 million investment. While the other four finalists didn’t win, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t receive investment. Last year, joint-winner Oxgyen Ventures invested $2 million in joint-winner eCal and another $1.3 million in finalist Etaskr.


“Without a doubt each one is very investible,” Kestelman says of all five finalists that pitched this year.


“I don’t think there was a single one were the judges all agreed – no way. No way we would either back it or no way it would work. Every one of the ideas has absolute merit, and potentially with a little bit of work, I have no doubt (they) can be a success.”


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