Shuttlerock raises millions for North American boost

New Zealand visual marketing software company Shuttlerock has raised $2.35 million in its latest funding drive and opened headquarters in the United States.

The Rangiora-based company, founded by former ValueClick Media Japan chief executive officer Jonathan Hendriksen, announced today it raised the funds partly through Auckland-based angel investors ICE Angels.

Other investors include Japan’s largest digital advertising agency Opt, Shuttlerock and Air New Zealand director Paul Bingham, comedian Gary McCormick, Air New Zealand, and Shuttlerock chairman and ex-Heinz Watties NZ operations manager Maurice Eng.

Total funds raised so far are $2.95 million, and will go towards expanding Shuttlecock’s North American presence. Current US clients include Martha’s Vineyard, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the University of Missouri.

The company has just opened its US headquarters in Los Angeles, and named Jade Swords as chief executive for North America and James Zarley – former ValueClick CEO and current Conversant chairman – as chairman of the Shuttlerock USA board.

Earlier this week the company, which has more than 100 clients worldwide including ice-cream maker Haagen Dazs and carmaker Mitsubishi, announced a marketing coup – it had added Lady Gaga to its client list.

While on tour recently in Japan, the pop queen – who has 41.7 million Twitter followers and more than 67 million Facebook followers – asked fans to upload photos of themselves to her Japanese website, and used Shuttlerock's software to help aggregate and display those photos, which will be used to promote her upcoming album.

Shuttlerock was launched three years ago with a white label photo and content sharing platform that embeds on other companies' websites.

It charges businesses a $500 monthly flat fee that makes it easier for them to use content from their customer of fan base, such as uploading photos and videos to their websites, and then republishing that user-generated content through social media channels.