Chicago-based Blinkfire Analytics raises $1.6 million in investment funding

Blinkfire founder Steve Olechowski  

A Chicago-based media analytics company has secured $1.6 million funding from investors, including the former CEO of Twitter, as it seeks to grow in a number of strategic areas.

Blinkfire Analytics provides sponsorship analytics across all digital platforms. Its clients include sports teams in the United States and in Europe.

Founder Steve Olechowski said the company is profitable but decided to seek out investors "who believe in our mission." Investors include Dick Costolo, once of Twitter.

"We spent a lot of time finding the right investors for Blinkfire who could really help us in the space," Olechowski told Illinois Business Daily.

"Dick Costolo, having been the CEO of Twitter, could see the immediate value we are bringing to sports leagues, teams and sponsors as media consumption is moving quickly from television to social media networks," Olechowski said. "Leagues and teams have relied too much on television numbers in the past, and I think Dick's involvement is a strong indicator for how quickly the market will need to shift to sources such as Blinkfire for media measurement and valuation."

Blinkfire Analytics claims to be the first software-as-a-service platform to market to offer real-time sponsorship analytics across social, digital and over-the-top platforms.

In a post on the company's website announcing the investment, Olechowski said the company's clients include all of Spanish soccer's teams in the top two tiers and many other top-tier English Premier League, MLS, NBA, Serie A teams. Their sponsors and agencies include Publicis, Toyota, ESP and Electronic Arts.  

He described the business as profitable for some time but chose "to raise a round of capital to accelerate growth in a number of strategic areas" and with investors who really believe in the "mission to optimize the sponsorship marketplace to help buyers and sellers make decisions in real time," according to the post.

The other investors include Harrison Metal (seed investors in AdMob and MoPub), Spanish-based angel investor Andreas Mihalovits, and "a number of inside investors from our seed round," Olechowski wrote in the post.

"We’re extremely excited to work with each of these investors to help Blinkfire extend our lead in the marketplace even further, and continue to provide the gold standard of accuracy in real time sponsorship measurement to rights-holders and sponsors," he added.

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