|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, United States|
Rob Tarkoff,President & CEO
|Products||Lithium Social Customer Experience Platform
Lithium Social Web
Lithium Social Media Monitoring
Lithium Customer Intelligence Center
Lithium Technologies provides social customer experience management software for the enterprise. Headquartered in San Francisco, Lithium has additional offices in London, Austin, Paris, Sydney, Singapore, New York, and Zürich.
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 brothers Lyle Fong and Dennis Fong, who together also founded GX Media, as well as Kirk Yokomizo, John Joh, Nader Alizadeh, Michel Thouati, Michael Yang, and Matt Ayres. The company sells largely to enterprise customers, including HP, Best Buy, Research In Motion, Sony, Comcast, Symantec, and AT&T. 
The Lithium Social Customer Experience Management Platform combines online customer community applications such as forums, blogs, innovation management, live chat, and tribal knowledge bases with the broader social Web and traditional CRM business processes, resulting in a wide range of online customer interaction methods. Lithium's SaaS-based platform delivers products on-demand in a hosted environment rather than as traditional, packaged software. Stemming from its gaming roots, the platform incorporates elaborate rating systems for contributors, with ranks, badges, and “kudos counts.”
In late 2008, Lithium Technologies 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 have contributed to a new standard for measuring community health - the Community Health Index.
In November 2009, Lithium hosted the first annual Social CRM Virtual Summit which, according to USA Today, "drew more than 2,200 registrants, and about half logged on for the 10-hour event. A quarter were from other countries."
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.
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 said it was already integrated 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).
Awards & Analysts
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."
- Cheng, Roger (December 2, 2009). "Squeezing Web Sites Onto Cellphones: Businesses Try to Shift Online Communities, Consumer Forums to Places Tailored for Wireless Users". Wall Street Journal.
- Reedy1, Sarah (April 10, 2009). "Addicted gamers could save carriers millions". Connected Planet Online.
- Walling, Steven (July 18, 2009). "Lithium Reinvents Itself as a Social CRM". ReadWriteWeb.
- Lohr, Steve (April 25, 2009). "Customer Service? Ask a Volunteer". New York Times.
- McKay, Lauren (June, 2010). "Crafting a Community". CRM Magazine.
- Yu, Roger (January 5, 2010). "Companies turn to virtual trade shows to save money". USA Today.
- O'Malley, Gavin (January 8, 2010). "Social Media Tools Provider Lithium Raises $18M". MediaPost.
- Wang, Ray (May 11, 2010). "News Analysis: Lithium’s Acquisition of Scout Labs Ups The Ante in Social CRM". Enterprise Irregulars.
- "Lithium Names Enterprise Software Veteran Rob Tarkoff as Chief Executive Officer" (Press release). Lithium Technologies. August 22, 2011.