The birth of a unicorn.
  • Product Roadmapping
  • Product + Customer Validation
  • Information Architecture
  • UX + UI Design
  • Full-Stack Development
We created Hootsuite, the revolutionary product now used by over 800 Fortune 1000 companies. It was the very first social media manager, establishing a brand new category of products and services.

Fulfilling A Need

Social media was a scattershot in the early days. The value was there, but actually managing our client’s social presence was an exercise that paired the juggling of multiple browsers, tabs, and windows with the constant worry we were looking at — and even posting from — the wrong account. A better way to do this would make us significantly more efficient in our work, make a real difference with our clients, and maybe even be valuable to the wider marketing community. Unfortunately, that tool didn’t exist.

So we built it.

Invoke has always been a place where incredible companies and products — like Hootsuite — can come to life and thrive.
Ryan HolmesCEO, Hootsuite


We assembled a team to redefine the future of social media. This dedicated team worked together to build the MVP for a SaaS product we called BrightKit. Leveraging accessible APIs, it was an integrated, secure, web-based social media management dashboard that enabled individuals and organizations to manage their social media accounts in one place. The Invoke team took full advantage of it, quickly integrating it into our daily processes and client work. It made a difference, so the next step quickly became obvious: we had to tell everyone.

It was a revelation. One place where you could manage all of your social media accounts.

Spreading The Word

In December 2008, the full product was unveiled. Still flying the BrightKit flag, Invoke’s senior management and business development teams took it their networks. From people and organizations that could benefit from its functionality, to others that would simply be interested in the development of an exciting new product, we spread the word. Word of mouth, email blasts, and — obviously — Twitter, drove the excitement higher and higher. Then, in February 2009, an online contest resulted in the adoption of a new name: Hootsuite.

With initial interest soaring, PR efforts complemented the chatter and drove traffic to the newly-created Tech blogs, authors, and influencers were contacted to generate buzz, leading to extensive press coverage and awards including Mashable’s Open Web Awards 2009, the Canadian New Media Award, the Shorty Awards, and a spot in the Top 10 International Web Products of 2009 compiled by ReadWriteWeb.

Oh, and the White House started using it.
Trying to maintain the University’s digital communications, and not have Hootsuite, would be madness.
Barney BrownHead of Digital Communications, University of Cambridge

A Product Becomes A Business

Recognizing the ever-growing popularity of the platform — and the growing potential within the social media landscape — Hootsuite was officially spun out as a separate company in December of 2009. The team continued to work hard improving the product. Facebook and LinkedIn integrations made it a truly robust social hub and essential tool in marketing departments around the world. In order to continually push the capabilities of the tool further and further, a monetization strategy was introduced.

In August 2010, the Freemium business model was implemented. Personal users could still use the same features they were used to at no charge, but brands could take advantage of new features like advanced analytics, team assignments, and social listening tools. Growth continued to surge, and by November, a big milestone was reached: Hootsuite had reached one million users.

In less than two years, Hootsuite had one million users.

An Independent Leader In Social

In 2011, Hootsuite and Invoke completed their transition to being fully independent companies when Invoke moved to a new office space in Gastown. In the time since, Hootsuite’s growth has continued at an incredible pace. With over 15 million current users — and the tools being utilized by over 800 Fortune 1000 companies — Hootsuite has rebranded and gone on to raise funding rounds of $20 million, $60 million, and $165 million leading to an estimated valuation well north of $1 billion. We are proud to continue our relationship with them to this day, using Hootsuite on a daily basis as an integral part of the work we do with our partners.

15 million current users. Funding rounds of $20 million, $60 million, and $165 million. An estimated valuation well over $1 billion.

Used by 800+ of Fortune 1000 companies.

We’re ready to make a plan that works for your organization.