Gretchen DeKnikker, Co-Founder Of SocialPandas, Raises $1.5M

Join us for the Women 2.0 Awards February 12, 2015
Gretchen DeKnikker

True Ventures invests in what TechCrunch calls “CRM tools to aid the forgotten sales person”.

By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)

Enterprise is sexy“, proclaimed SocialPandas co-founder Gretchen DeKnikker this week – and she’s right. Her social customer relationship management (“SCRM”) tool startup SocialPandas announced today raising $1.5 in seed funding from True Ventures in San Francisco in what TechCrunch called “an oversubscribed round”.

Investor interest in enterprise social marketing/CRM startups founded by women is reaching an all-time high after several high-profile exits: Buddy Media (co-founded by COO Kass Lazerow) was acquired by Salesforce for a whopping $689M), Involver was acquired by Oracle and Wildfire Interactive (co-founded by CEO Victoria Ransom) was acquired by Google for $250M.

What SocialPandas will do different is focus on identifying leads for the salesforce. After a decade of launching and growing enterprise SaaS startups and platforms, Gretchen is expanding on her background in social selling and leading the charge at early-stage social CRM SocialPandas.

Women 2.0 talks to founder Gretchen DeKnikker about the recent investment and her new startup:

Women 2.0: Congrats on the funding! How did you get introduced to the investors?

Gretchen DeKnikker: Thank you. We are humbled by the caliber of investors and thrilled they believe in SocialPandas as much as we do. When SocialPandas was still just a zygote of an idea, True Ventures was at the top of our list. Their “founders first” culture and focus on people made them a natural fit with our team. Our angels are equally as amazing and diverse, each bringing far more to the table than a checkbook.

Women 2.0: What is the secret to getting funding?

Gretchen DeKnikker: I don’t think there’s a funding secret sauce. We began gathering advice from our networks from day one. When it came time to actually raise money months later, it was a natural extension of those ongoing conversations, and the feedback we gathered throughout was invaluable.

Women 2.0: What will the funding be used for?

Gretchen DeKnikker: Hiring, hiring, then a little more hiring. Did I mention we’re hiring? ;)

Women 2.0: What’s your one piece of advice for early-stage women entrepreneurs?

Gretchen DeKnikker: My advice is to be an entrepreneur first. I love being a woman in technology. For one, I never have to wait in line for the bathroom. I suggest not investing a lot of energy worrying about real or perceived “downsides” of being female. Invest that energy in building your company and kicking ass.

Editor’s note: This is an exciting space full of fundings, mergers and acquisitions – congratulations to Gretchen DeKnikker and the SocialPandas team for capitalizing on the enterprise opportunity and making it fun and “sexy” again.

 

Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1″ for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.