Wayin, the latest venture from ex-Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, got a considerable boost Friday with a fresh $15.4 million infusion from big-name investors including SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner.
Also participating in the round, which was led by an undisclosed new investor, were David Duffield, founder of PeopleSoft and co-founder and chairman of Workday, along with Wayin chairman and CEO McNealy himself.
Launched by McNealy in 2011 as a social gaming service, Wayin has since transformed to focus on real-time digital marketing. Today, Wayin integrates with publicly shared Twitter, Facebook and Instagram content to help marketers and media companies find the most compelling social content and trends to tap in their engagement efforts.
McNealy, who is still best remembered by many for his early — and strong — comments on privacy, took the helm as Wayin’s CEO in May.
Among the company’s list of customers are Walgreens, Major League Baseball, The Weather Channel, Logitech, Blizzard Entertainment and Mashable.
With the new funding, Wayin will expand its engineering department and creative talent, McNealy said in a blog post. It plans to add features around success measurement and optimization, additional visualization options, expanded rights management and language support for Japanese and Chinese.
WayIn is also working with IBM to add some of its artificial intelligence services. IBM’s Watson allows WayIn to identify the subject of photos on social networks even when they’re not tagged, so that marketers can incorporate them into campaigns.
Watson will allow WayIn to ingest and tag as many as 200 million social media images a day, McNealy said at an IBM event Thursday to promote its AI technology.