Filestack announced Tuesday it acquired TINT, a user-generated content platform, for an undisclosed amount. TINT is a social media marketing platform that connects brands and customers into one social hub. Their social media content display tool helps businesses find and curate user-generated content to drive a high level of engagement with their customers.
Filestack was founded in 2012 by MIT graduates and acquired in late 2015 by Scaleworks, a San Antonio-based venture equity fund that acquires and operates business-to-business (B2B) software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. The startup’s file hosting and management service helps about 100,000 app developers manage the flow of user-uploaded online content, such as images, videos, and other files.
The University of Southern California graduates Tim Sae Koo, Nikhil Aitharaju, and Ryo Chiba launched TINT in early 2013. They took a B2B approach to social media aggregation by using a simple, customizable platform for brands to collect, curate and display social media feeds from multiple networks for display on any screen, anywhere—on websites and in-store displays, monitors, jumbotrons, and mobile apps. The self-managed SaaS platform enables marketers to manage social content easily in real time. Businesses and brands can connect their social network accounts to their websites, in part to help them promote their products and services through their social feeds, but also to provide their websites with more engaging content.
TINT is sold as a subscription service starting at $500 monthly up to $1,000 per month for extra content and moderation features. TINT to date has aggregated over 1 billion pieces of content and takes in about 60 million pieces of content per month, as stated in Filestack’s company post. The company works with over 5,000 well-known brands including Nestle, Nike, and Marriott and has $2 million in annual revenue, according to CrunchBase.
Filestack differentiates itself from competitors in how they help developers curate online content and has been incorporating features to make its platform the go-to standard for file processing and management within software applications. The startup debuted Intelligent Ingestion, a technology that optimizes mobile file uploading regardless of file size, user device, or network connection in 2017 and launched a way to detect manipulated or fake images in its application programming interface, or API in 2018. Acquiring TINT will further build Filestack’s enterprise credentials into an all-in-one platform for managing content for brand marketers and software developers.
From 2005 to 2020, digital data will grow by a factor of 300, from 130 exabytes to 40,000 exabytes—equivalent to 40 trillion gigabytes of data. The problems that TINT solves for marketers are similar problems that Filestack solves for developers—accessing and uploading content, customizing and delivering it, and with the acquisition of TINT, now users can customize how to display content, Filestack CEO Sameer Kamat said.
“We think there’s a big content problem what with user content on an exponential rise,” Kamat said. “Images, audio, video, texts—that information has to be captured and curated because it’s useless if you cannot find it.”
Kamat said Filestack is in the process of evaluating how to integrate TINT after the acquisition. TINT is headquartered in San Francisco with a distributed team working remotely. Their end-to-end content management platform leverages advanced machine learning and visual recognition to enable content management at scale, Kamat said. TINT’s acquisition brings new product features, such as the ability to detect the copyright in an image or finding the exact content marketers need based on criteria.
“Plans include the ability to leverage all product lines in a unified Filestack service that will include the benefits from the two platforms,” Kamat said. “Content curation is an extremely hard problem for marketers so offering a platform transformed by machine learning is powerful.”
TINT has about 31 employees while there are about 36 at Filestack, Filestack vice president of product Sundip Patel said. He added that the steadily growing startup is hiring both in sales and front-end developers; check here for Filestack positions.
“Marketers using TINT’s platform can leverage trends in content curation if say, they see one product resonating in social media content,” Patel said. “TINT’s ease of use takes a complex problem and simplifies it in many ways.”
As core features of Filestack’s machine learning-led content curation engine are applied to TINT’s service, the overall platform will grow stronger with features like advanced moderation and filtering capabilities for ‘safe for work’ checks, copyright detection, and content categorization and search, Kamat said. Current customers will be able to continue using both applications after the acquisition.
“TINT has been our customer for four years,” Kamat said. “Together we can offer far better services for marketers and developers alike to solve the big content problem.”
Featured image is of a TINT display in use at the NASDAQ. Courtesy image.