- Glasgow-based social networking site announces third round of funding and confirms 10,000th beta user -
KILTR, a Scottish professional networking start-up, announced today it has secured a third round of funding, valued at over £320k, bringing the company’s funding total close to £1million in less than ten months.
The firm, based in Glasgow, has attracted backing from a group of investors including Par Equity, Barwell PLC and the Scottish Investment Bank.
The site also confirmed its 10,000th beta user at the weekend with Social Media Week board member and director of twintanglibles, Tim Wright, opting to use the network to coordinate Glasgow’s activities during World Social Media Week later this month.
Chief executive of KILTR, Brian Hughes, said: “We are really pleased with the progress the company has made over the last 12 months. The Scottish identity is something of a global phenomenon in that no matter where you go in the world, you will meet someone who has an affinity with the country. With almost seven times as many people with Scottish heritage living outside of Scotland as there is living in Scotland, the focus for KILTR is to capitalise on these existing shared values and harness the power of social networking technology to support the growth of Scottish business, on an international scale. KILTR provides a one-stop resource for Scots and affinity Scots to build on existing shared interests and develop strong, mutually beneficial working relationships without geographical limitations.”
KILTR is one of a growing number of niche networking sites which industry commentators have heralded as the ‘next-generation’ of social networking. To date, the site has attracted a membership base largely consisting of senior business representatives with C-level and managerial executives, founders and owners comprising more than 60% of the total number of KILTR members.
In recent months, the site has established a strategic marketing partnership with airport operator BAA Glasgow and confirmed its first major sponsor, international private aviation company JetLogic, both of whom are hoping to harness the potential of the niche network to boost their profile among international Scots.
Stewart Fraser, KILTR’s chief technology officer, said: “Unlike mass populated platforms like twitter and Facebook, niche networks have a more targeted membership which cultivates an online environment more suitable for building connections as users already share common interests. Niche networks are said to offer better value for businesses and entrepreneurs as they allow for a more targeted approach and users can build practical connections in a shorter period of time.”
KILTR will celebrate its first birthday later this year and Brian and Stewart have set themselves the challenge of securing 20,000 founding members by the site’s 12 month anniversary date – a goal, Brian says, is well within their grasp:
“We have over 120,000 imported contacts waiting to be invited onto the site and, with an average invite conversion rate of 18%, we are optimistic about hitting our 20,000 users target in the next few months.”
For further information or to connect to the network, visit www.KILTR.com
Case study – Social Media Week
The advisory board coordinating Glasgow’s first ever contribution to World Social Media Week (SMW), 19-23 September, needed somewhere to group their discussions and keep everyone in the loop with ongoing progress.
The board asked KILTR to create a private members group, hosted within the niche network, which would allow individuals to communicate with one another and send proactive alerts to other members of the group to keep them informed of new updates.
Director of twintangibles and SMW board member, Tim Wright, said: “We opted to route our discussion through KILTR as opposed to any other social networking platform with similar capabilities because of the niche characteristic of the site. Unlike other social networks, which increasingly flood my inbox with irrelevant discussions and promotional emails, KILTR, as a niche network, is more select in the members it attracts. The sheer ubiquity of other networks often means networking transcends into a numbers game with members trying to rack up as many new connections as possible. However, niche networks promote value networking by organically constraining the number of members based on prior shared interests – in KILTR’s case, an affinity with Scotland – which helps to build strong, trusted connections that provide tangible results and support business development.”