Lithium Technologies is a San Francisco-based provider of software that allows businesses to connect with their customers on social media and digital channels. Lithium was founded in 2001 as a spin-out from GX Media, which created technologies for professional rankings and tournaments and now hosts a number of popular gaming sites. The company's founders include Dennis Fong, Lyle Fong, Michel Thouati, Kirk Yokomizo, John Joh, Nader Alizadeh, Michael Yang, and Matt Ayres. The Lithium platform comprises a set of products for digital marketing and social customer support, including Lithium Communities, which act as the hub for a brand's digital conversations; Lithium Response, a social customer care tool; and Lithium Reach a social media management tool. Klout data powers the Lithium platform with its proprietary algorithms and volume of data with over 750M scored profiles." Lithium's SaaS platform combines online customer community applications such as forums, blogs, innovation management, product reviews, and tribal knowledge bases with the broader social web and traditional CRM business processes, resulting in a wide range of online customer interaction methods. Stemming from its gaming roots, the platform incorporates elaborate rating systems for contributors, with ranks, badges, and "kudos counts". Lithium hosts an annual user conference, LiNC (Lithium Networking Conference) designed to give digital strategists a deeper understanding of trends in social customer engagement. Since its inception in 2008, the event has grown 1,100% to 900+ attendees in 2016. In 2017, the company held a series of localized LiNC events in cities like London, San Francisco, and Sydney.
In late 2008, Lithium completed a detailed, time-series analysis of up to a decade's worth of proprietary data that represents billions of interactions, millions of users, and scores of communities. This research, coupled with the company's expertise in planning, deploying, and managing customer communities, enabled Lithium to identify and calculate key factors that contributed to a new standard for measuring community health – the Community Health Index.
At the beginning of 2010, Lithium announced over 100 percent growth in annual recurring revenue, coupled with securing $18MM in Series C financing. On May 11, 2010, Lithium acquired social media monitoring (SMM) provider, Scout Labs, whose service allows brands to engage with their customers beyond the community and monitor, map, and measure customer conversations on the social web.
In August 2011, Lithium announced the appointment of Enterprise Software Veteran Rob Tarkoff as Chief Executive Officer to succeed Lyle Fong, co-founder of Lithium. Fong took up the role of Chief Strategist and continued serving on the board of directors.
In January 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company secured a $53.4 million Series D round of financing, led by New Enterprise Associates. The funding round also included Greenspring Associates, SAP Ventures, the venture capital firm associated with Germany's SAP AG. The WSJ reported that the Series D financing round brought the company's total funding to date to $101 million.
Silicon Valley high-tech consultant and author Geoffrey Moore joined the company's board of directors in August 2012.
In October 2012, the company acquired Austin, Texas-based Social Dynamx, which provided cloud-based software that allows large call centers to manage their social customer service. Lithium renamed the former Social Dynamx product as "Lithium Social Web" and integrated it with its core Lithium Communities product.
In September 2013, Lithium announced a $50 million pre-IPO mezzanine funding round. The company said it secured the new financing from a syndicate of global institutional investors along with existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
In February 2014, Lithium bought Klout.
In June 2015, Microsoft and Lithium signed a strategic alliance agreement to integrate Lithium social interactions and community data into Microsoft Dynamics [null CRM].
In June 2016, Lithium announced Lithium Reach, a social marketing product that redefines how brands can maximize engagement across social channels, blogs and online communities. Lithium is a member of the Facebook Marketing Partner Program and Twitter Certified Partner Program.
In July 2017, Lithium announced that it was acquired by Vista Equity Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on investments in software, data and technology-enabled businesses. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In October 2017, Lithium announced its acquisition of the Jive-x external community business from Jive Software, an Aurea company.
In September 2018, Lithium announced its merger with Spredfast.
Headquartered in San Francisco , Lithium has additional offices in Austin, TX (US) New York, NY (US) Portland, OR (US) London (UK) Paris (FR) Singapore (SG) Sydney (AU) Zurich (CH) Bangalore (IND).
The Wall Street Journal ranked Lithium among the top 50 venture-capital-backed companies in September 2012 in the paper's "Next Big Thing" list.
In October 2012, analyst firm Gartner Inc. ranked Lithium in the Leader's Quadrant of the Social CRM Magic Quadrant. Lithium said the ranking by the industry analyst firm was "based on Gartner's evaluation of the company's ability to execute on social strategy and overarching vision".
In December 2013, Glassdoor recognized Lithium as one of the best places to work in 2014 with a Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award.
In May 2014, Gartner named Lithium a Visionary in the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. In April 2015, Gartner named Lithium a Visionary in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.
In October 2015, Lithium won the WebAward for Best Computer: Software Website for lithium.com.
In May, 2016, Gartner named Lithium a Visionary in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant report for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.
In September 2016, analyst firm IDC named Lithium a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Online Communities 2016 Vendor Assessment. Vanessa Thompson, Research Vice President, Communities and Collaboration of IDC noted, "As an early entrant in the communities market Lithium has built a strong brand and reputation in community solutions, receiving the highest customer satisfaction response as a result."
In September 2016, Lithium was named to the Forbes Cloud 100, a list of leading up-and-comers in the field selected by Forbes and list partners Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures.