The first rule of the social media business is to choose a weird, opaque name for your company, and Cambridge-based Crimson Hexagon -- which specializes in semantic analysis to help companies track online sentiment -- has certainly succeeded there. If I had to guess, the "crimson" is for Harvard (it was spun off by Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science in 2007) and the "hexagon" is a reference to "The Library of Babel" by Jorge Luis Borges... or a beehive. Or something else entirely.
Presumably Crimson Hexagon is better at explaining what other people mean, which is why the company just raised $5 million in a second round of funding led by Cablevision founder and chairman Charles F. Dolan. That brings Crimson Hexagon's total funding to date to over $7 million. In 2010 the company raised $2 million in a round of funding including Beacon Angels, Golden Seeds, New York Angels and CT Angel Investor Forum, and Zelkova Ventures, a venture capital firm.
The company, which currently employs 14 people, says it will use the latest round of capital to hire additional staffers and scale up its sentiment analysis operation for social media, which it describes as "near real-time market research." This will probably include new offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London, according to reports citing CEO Patricia Gottesman, who took the helm just three months ago (Gottesman had formerly worked for Dolan at Cablevision).
Describing the company's strategic direction, Gottesman was quoted as saying: "We're aggressively marketing to media clients. They want to understand how to best position their content, whether it's online video or traditional TV, and they have a keen interest in advertising as a vital component of the digital business model."