Buffer—Social Media Company Ditching the Office Completely

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Apr 1, 2021 10 min read
Buffer—Social Media Company Ditching the Office Completely

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

Success on social media can often feel like a secret science. Something that only the few can achieve. But creating a successful social media strategy is a skill that can be learned. Mastered, even. And you don’t need a flashy brand or a big budget. What you need is a deep understanding of what your audience cares about, and how to get your content in front of them in the right places at the right times.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media. The application was designed by a group of European expats in San Francisco, most notably Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich. Gascoigne is currently the CEO of Buffer. Get to know more about the company profile of buffer by reading this article.

Buffer—Company Highlights

Startup Name Buffer
Developer Buffer, Inc.
Headquarters San Francisco, CA, US
Industry Social Media Management
Founded 2010
Founders Joel Gascoigne(CEO), Leo Widrich
Platform Android, iOS, web
Area Served Worldwide
Website www.buffer.com

Buffer—About & How it Works?
Buffer—Recent News
Buffer—Founder & History
Buffer—Mission
Buffer—Business Model
Buffer—Revenue & Growth
Buffer—Funding & Investors
Buffer—Acquisitions
Buffer—Partnerships
Buffer—Competitors
Buffer—Challenges Faced
Buffer—Future Plans
Buffer—FAQs
Buffer—Conclusion

Buffer—About & How it Works?

Buffer is a developer of social media tools designed to visually plan and schedule social media campaigns. The company's tools coordinate creative campaigns to drive engagement on social media, enabling brands to tell their stories and grow their audience.

Buffer helps users of social media share more consistently by allowing them to choose set times to post each day. Buffer is a company offering a social media management platform by enabling users to schedule their posts for later, post to their social networks, engage with multimedia, and create their own content.

Buffer's logo is in simple font in black colour.

Buffer Logo

Buffer—Recent News

As of November 2020, Buffer introduced LinkedIn Analytics. The team designed their analytics to be simple so that we can easily get what we need and create reports in a few clicks. For this feature, the team managed to work with the LinkedIn team as they built it.

"I'm excited about this new feature by Buffer because we have seen many small businesses leverage their LinkedIn Page to build thought leadership and recruit new teammates. This new feature will help them understand what's working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn," said Ting Ba, the Group Product Marketing Manager of LinkedIn Pages.
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Buffer—Founder & History

Buffer began its development in October 2010 in Birmingham, United Kingdom by co-founder Joel Gascoigne, who established the idea of the social media application while he was in the United Kingdom. Once he developed the idea he created a landing page to see if enough people were interested in the product to make it a profitable venture. After reaching a critical mass of registrations, Gascoigne built and designed the first version of the application software over a span of 7 weeks.

On November 30, 2010, the initial version of Buffer was launched. It contained limited features which only allowed access to Twitter. Four days after the software's launch Buffer gained its first paying user. A few weeks after this, the number of users reached 100, and then that number multiplied to 100,000 users within the next 9 months.

In July 2011, the cofounders decided to move the startup venture from the United Kingdom to San Francisco in the United States, and Buffer was converted into an incorporation. Whilst in San Francisco, the cofounders dealt with the San Franciscan startup incubators AngelPad.

Joel Gascoigne & Leo Leo Widrich | Co-Founder Buffer

This was due to the increase in cost after moving from Birmingham. Throughout December 2011, cofounders Joel and Leo were able to secure 18 investors to their company, after being refused by 88% of the people they met with to offer an investment to their company. The investors include Maneesh Arora, the founder of MightyText, Thomas Korte, the founder of AngelPad, and Andy McLoughlin, the co-founder of the software company Huddle.


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Buffer—Mission

Buffer's mission statement says, "Our passion for support, happiness and quality flow through everything that we do."

Buffer—Business Model

Buffer's customer base consists of 2 million users, of which 98% are individuals using a freemium model. The Company makes its money by offering Business plans utilized in more of a corporate setting. The Company generally sees ~2% conversion from free to paid plans. Within paid plans there is ~5% customer churn annually, a metric very much in line with the industry.

In a world where new start-ups pop up every other day proclaiming a revolutionary solution for businesses, Buffer has been able to carve out a niche by focusing on its transformational operations. By offering a unique employment model, the Company retains top notch talent from across the globe which ultimately means a better solution for customers. Its transparency tactics have also built a culture of openness and trust not only across employees but also across its customer base. By embodying such a culture, Buffer can better serve its customers and ultimately focus on what’s best for their customer base.

Buffer—Revenue & Growth

Buffer's revenue was reported to be $17.50 m in FY, 2018 which is a 18.2% increase from the previous period. In 2019, 32,349 new customers joined Buffer. Their total number of customers in 2019 was 74,825.


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Buffer—Funding & Investors

Buffer has raised a total of $4M in funding over 3 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Oct 27, 2014 from a Series A round. Buffer is funded by 29 investors. Collaborative Fund and Stage One Capital are the most recent investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Oct 27, 2014 Series A $3.5M -
Dec 20, 2011 Seed Round $450K -
Oct 1, 2011 Seed Round - -

Buffer—Acquisitions

Buffer has acquired 2 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Respondly on Dec 17, 2015.

Acquiree Name Date Amount About Acquiree
Respondly Dec 17, 2015 - Team Inbox for email and Twitter
ShareFeed May 17, 2012 - ShareFeed is a company that was acquired by Buffer in 2012.

Buffer—Partnerships

Buffer is partnered with various other software applications and companies. Most notably, Buffer is an official Facebook Marketing Partner under Community Management. Additionally, Buffer has partnerships with WordPress, Twitter, Zapier, IFTTT, Feedly, Pocket, Reeder, and Quuu.

Buffer—Competitors

Top competitors of Buffer are :

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Buffer—Challenges Faced

"Its been ten years since I launched the first version of Buffer. What started as a landing page to gauge interest, and then a very basic product that I worked on alone, has become so much more. Buffer is now a leading social media management platform and a team of nearly 90 people working remotely worldwide, with our own approach and culture," said Joel Gascoigne.

One of the biggest challenges for him was to transition to working full-time on buffer. Its a big risk for any individual. Before starting Buffer, Joel was doing what is called “working in waves,” a method to have enough funds to work full-time on a project for a certain period of time. The idea is that you work a full-time job or contract work for a set amount of time and then work full-time on your startup idea once you have enough funds to support yourself for a set amount of time.

In 2014, they received their largest acquisition offer to date. According to Joel, it was a nine-figure offer from a public company, and it stopped them in their tracks and made them truly step back and reflect.

For myself, my co-founder, and for most of our team with early-stage stock options grants, it would have been a life-changing outcome. An offer like that drives existential questioning, making you really think about the purpose and fulfillment of what you’re doing. Ultimately, we believed there was significantly more growth from where we were, and we have since increased revenue 6x. Beyond the growth potential, however, it was the culture and the movements we had become part of (transparency and remote work, in particular), which led us to turn the offer down and continue on our path.

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Buffer—Future Plans

Building a brand is one of the most important and one of the hardest things for growing an early company. Buffer believes there’s a unique combination of circumstances and new technology that will bring about significant change in the creation of the best new brands of the next 10 years.

The shift over the past few years has turned Buffer into a company with multiple products and as a result, multiple revenue streams. Having several revenue streams is setting them up to be a more sustainable, profitable, and long-term company. It means they can continue to be here for our customers and have the ability to make bets on what will be the most valuable to them.

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Buffer—FAQs

What does Buffer do?

Buffer is a developer of social media tools designed to visually plan and schedule social media campaigns.

Who founded Buffer?

The application was designed by a group of European ex-pats in San Francisco, most notably Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich.

How does Buffer make money?

The Company makes its money by offering Business plans utilized in more of a corporate setting. The Company generally sees ~2% conversion from free to paid plans. Within paid plans there is ~5% customer churn annually, a metric very much in line with the industry.

What companies do Buffer compete with?

The top 10 competitors in Buffer's competitive set are Sprout Social, Sprinklr, Clickable, Inc., SocialFlow, Echobox, Spredfast, BuzzSumo, MavSocial, Parallel 6.

Buffer—Conclusion

The Buffer company is a fully distributed team of 85 people living and working in 15 countries around the world. And they’re working to build the best products to help their customers build their brands and grow their customer's businesses on social media. They’ve always aimed to do things a little differently at Buffer. Since the early days, they’ve had a focus on building one of the most unique and fulfilling workplaces by rethinking a lot of traditional practices.

A commitment to support their team and their customers have helped Buffer grow from humble beginnings to now serving more than 73,000 customers. The companies passion for making meaningful connections flows through everything we do. They care about building a quality product, trusted relationships with their customers, and a sense of community that connects their customers and team with one another.

To learn more about their approach to business and work, feel free to hop on over to their Open Blog on their own website.

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