U.K. company Crisp closed a $25 million funding round last October. How’s it celebrating? By coming to Chicago.
On Tuesday, Crisp announced that it’s opening its new North American headquarters in Chicago. The Chicago office will be the home base for Crisp’s North American operations and will help the company expand its business across the world.
Crisp labels itself as a “social media safety” firm. The company has partnered with several Fortune 500 and enterprise-scale companies in order to monitor their social media channels and protect their brand image.
Social media appearance is extremely important nowadays — not just for people looking to post their selfies for likes, but for major brands, too. Many companies have found out the hard way that even a minor Twitter controversy can escalate into a PR nightmare.
Vikram Sharma, Crisp’s president, says that a single social media incident can cause a brand to lose up to 30 percent of its market value by the end of the year. He compares stifling a social media controversy to putting out a fire — the sooner you catch it, the less damage is done.
In order to do this, Crisp employs a team of expert analysts across the world and uses AI tools to monitor social media for potential crises. If something is caught, the experts will alert the brands so they can react swiftly and appropriately.
Although potential controversy has scared some major brands away from participating in social media. Sharma explains that it’s better for brands to be involved and play an active role.
“We have to be active on social media because that’s where the conversations are happening,” Sharma told Built In. “If you’re a brand, you know that social channels are essential for communicating with consumers.”
The growing need for this social media protection has led the 14 year-old company to experience 87 percent year-over-year growth in 2018. And Crisp aims to keep this momentum.
Crisp is hoping to add 25 to 30 employees to its new Chicago office in the next three to six months, and approximately 50 in the next 12 months. Worldwide, the company plans to double its employee headcount over the next year.
Chicago proves to be the perfect city for Crisp’s new headquarters, according to the company, thanks to its rapidly growing tech scene and its access to top brands and talent.
Adam Hildreth, the CEO and founder of Crisp, has a special affinity for the city.
“Chicago’s central location, proximity to the Fortune 500 and top tech talent pool made it the obvious choice for Crisp’s North American headquarters,” Hildreth said in a statement. “We want to be the very best partner to our customers, which is why we are eager to capitalize on the incredible resources Chicago provides growing tech companies and the businesses they work with.”