The two companies were working on somewhat related problems. Addvocate provides a system for pushing shareable content to employees while they’re actually using at services like Twitter — in other words, it replaces the email where someone has to ask, “Tweet this please!” which usually gets a disappointing response. YourTrove, meanwhile, was building a search engine that worked across users’ social network accounts. However, Addvocate CEO Marcus Nelson (co-founder of UserVoice and former head of social media at Salesforce.com) told me that he didn’t acquire YourTrove’s technology, just the team.
Both startups work out of the WeWork space in San Francisco, which is how they got to know each other. Nelson said it’s part of the natural dynamic at co-working spaces that some startups will take off and others won’t, so as he saw their respective trajectories, he thought it was a good idea to bring the three-person YourTrove team (co-founders Seth Blank, Nick Viku, and Jesse Emery) on-board — they’ll be focusing on “infrastructure, scalability, security,” he said. This brings Addvocate to eight full-time employees.
When I last spoke to Nelson in July, he’d built a private alpha product. Now Addvocate is taking requests from companies who want to use the product, and it has already brought more than 500 customers into the system. The next step, Nelson said, is to add features like mobile support and LDAP security. Another upcoming feature that he’s excited about — the ability to create a custom link for every single employee post or tweet, so Addvocate can offer leaderboards to track which employees are driving the most traffic to a given website.
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