Analytics and marketing company Curalate has secured $8.6 million in Series B funding, bringing total investments to $12.5 million. NEA led the round, with participation from previous investors First Round Capital, and MentorTech Ventures. Vayner RSE, the new fund from social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck, also participated.
Vaynerchuck will serve as a company advisor to provide insights on social media marketers. Harry Weller, general partner at NEA, joins the Curalate board of directors. The new funds help Curalate accelerate hiring, marketing and product development.
Curalate makes the visual Web searchable. The company's technology supports image recognition. As the use of videos and images on social sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr rises, so does the need to find the nuances in colors and objects that connect with consumers.
Julep, which has four Seattle-based manicure and pedicure salons, works with Curalate to connect with consumers on a variety of sites. In an earlier interview, Heather Harrington, social media manager at Julep, told Search Marketing Daily that Curalate's platform also helps it tweak its image descriptions to more closely reflect how consumers view the company's nail polish colors and other products.
In May, Pinterest chose Curalate to participate in the alpha of its MarTech initiative. The program supports select third-party software developers building Pinterest tools for businesses. These tools complement the company's existing programs.
Curalate is one in a handful of third-party software developers with access to the Pinterest Business Insights API. It allows the company to give brands additional information on the type of images that people Pin and share.