Who is Share Rocket? The company was founded by Chris Kraft in 2013, and was officially launched at NAB (an annual conference for the media industry) in the late spring of 2014. They’ve since been heads down, building the tech and selling product–reaching profitability with around $600,000 in early funding. This early success led to a recent round of $5 million–including investors Fox and Tribune Broadcasting.
Share Rocket is a social measurement service specifically for media companies. Nielsen measures TV, Arbitron measures radio, Share Rocket measures visibility across the major social brands. Customers like Fox use the service to measure themselves against competitors (or peers) in the marketplace.
Other verticals are coming, but Kraft says they’re happy working with media companies. No doubt – there’s a good business in media companies.
Kraft thought of the idea before he thought the technology was possible. As startup founders can appreciate, there’s an underlying belief in entrepreneurs that just about anything is possible. That may seem naive to the uninitiated, but it’s the way innovative ideas blossom.
The vision for Share Rocket has been to provide real-time data, but the data from each network arrives in significantly different formats, requiring special treatment for each. They’ve been able to get scoring runs down to every 15 minutes, and according to the customer’s willingness to pay, that’s good enough.
Efficiency is key in the data business. The original idea required a huge lift technologically, and the data itself was expensive. Now it’s a streamlined machine.
Why Dallas/Fort Worth?
Share Rocket operates in 210 DMAs (Designated Market Area), and Kraft finds a lot of value in the the fact that traveling to either coast is about 2.5 hours.
Key hires are another advantage – there are hundreds of companies with great talent looking to make a move. A fresh round of funding will make that process even easier. For example, Charles Thomas was hired locally as CRO, and has an extensive background in media – including Yahoo!, Broadcast.com, and Time, Inc.
Addison has been Kraft’s business home since the 80’s, he was an early lessee at Addison Circle. Kraft founded Splash Media, a local social media agency, 2004 and sold his interest to his partner in 2013. Austin and other cities were briefly considered, but DFW is home. More precisely, home is in the Wells Fargo building at Beltine and the tollway.
Welcome to the neighborhood Mr. Kraft, and Share Rocket.