I think you are mistaken. FundersClub curates the investments it brokers but the money comes from a (typically very large) group of independent investors.
From the FundersClub FAQ:
FundersClub lets its members who are accredited investors invest in startup venture funds online... FundersClub manages the funds and provides value-add benefits to the startup companies we invest in, as well as the investors in our funds.
No mention of kicking in their own funds. Perhaps there's a relatively trivial amount contributed by the FundersClub team from time to time but it's not the basis of their operation (Naval participates in some AngelList investments too). This is extremely similar to AngelList apart from the curation.
According to their Twitter feed they have halted all outbound messages. If you go reset your password on Buffer realize the site might be compromised and use something unique from all your other passwords.
Those things are easy to purchase in the short term, but it quickly becomes very expensive to purchase 10% week-over-week increase of Twitter followers, Facebook likes, web traffic, etc (I know, I've tried this before). The Mattermark Score reflects long term growth trends, short term spikes aren't enough to move the needle.
I think that could make sense in the long term, but with YC companies on demo day, I'm not sure it does. Most of these companies appear to have <1000 followers on the services you're measuring. If Likes and Followers cost a dollar each, then it wouldn't be too expensive to buy a spot at the top of your list in this case.
It's interesting that the company at the bottom of your list (Reebee) has 3x the Twitter followers and 6x the FB followers that the company at the top of the list (OneMonthRails) has. If Reebee started out (i.e., when you started tracking them) with a couple hundred followers on each of these services and OneMonthRails started out with none, then Reebee had the deck stacked against them, needing to add 100x+ the number of followers added by companies that began with no traction, during a limited time frame.
We're very aware of these issues and our algorithm accounts for them.
You're welcome to sign up for free trial to poke around and see why each company's score it what it is. We provide graphs and details on all the data points for each company. http://www.mattermark.com/app/signup
It's just ranking the growth rates of the signals I listed in the post - not saying which company is "best". Frankly, I think a lot of these rankings differ greatly from what I think the overall potential of a company is (I saw them present yesterday at Alumni Demo Day), but potential is not what we're measuring here. Growth is certainly another data point for investors to consider, and historically has been a part of massive information asymmetry - VCs are already looking up all these metrics about companies (manually) as they research, source and diligence. We're just making that more efficient and transparent.
At the end of the day investors do have to choose one company over another, as very few can justify investing in all of them. We're trying to give them more info to go off beyond hype. All of these companies tackle large markets with varied margins, and I believe investors are smart enough to sort that out for themselves and make decisions based on their domain knowledge, relationships, and expertise.
"We're trying to give them more info to go off beyond hype."
All you're measuring is hype though. Startups that rely on likes, follows, etc. as a gauge of success/traction are by nature, hype driven.
There are many industries - B2B, EdTech, etc. - where lack of social media traction is not at all an indicator of the health of a startup. I know because I run one. We have 0 likes, 0 mentions, 0 follows, but a hundred paying customers and on track to hit 1MM in revenue in less than 20 months since launch (with only 4 employees).
I hate to be critical of other founders, but all you're doing is contributing to and validating all the silliness that is the SV startup scene.
I think you make good points .. and also that mattermark probably would agree.
One problem is stats like you mentioned are hard to count, as for one you may have a competitive incentive to hide them. For another, there are no easy APIs or ways of scraping that data.
What mattermark could do (and are probably doing) is learning what stats are signals of success for what types of startups. For a consumer web or mobile startup, mattermark's data is likely a very good health indicator, for a b2b thing likely not.
Yes I agree that this data is better to have than to not have. A savvy investor can use this as a starting point for their own research, I was just worried at the framing of the posts ranking companies (in the past based off of alexa mostly and now off of other metrics such as likes, follows, tweets).
A couple examples to play devil's advocate even when discussing consumer startups against other consumer startups:
1) The social media startup that relies on spammy incentives to retweet or like something.
2) The ecommerce startup that relies on free giveaways or hefty price cuts to get people to tweet or post deals that are not sustainable from a business perspective.
Unless there are other signals that you can combine with this data, in many instances it can be deceiving. Like I said, the data can still be a great starting point because you at least see the data ranked with the names of the startups and then can investigate those startups closer from other perspectives.
At the end of the day investors still need to meet with founders and do their diligence, but I believe we may be able to bring attention to good companies that are not spammy or dishonest but also don't get a lot of press, attention, etc.
Within Mattermark Pro investors can filter by stage, vertical, business model, geography and many other factors to create useful comparisons between companies... Mattermark scores for B2B companies are quite meaningful when comparing apples to apples. I know it is painful to judge and be judged in this ecosystem, but I hope people will see that we are blogging about interesting stuff that others aren't covering and bringing more transparency and information symmetry than before.
One of the problems with your business appears to be your belief that information asymmetry is a problem for investors. It is not. In fact, information asymmetry creates opportunity for venture firms. If all firms had the same information about the same startups at roughly the same time, it would be much harder to identify attractive investments before competing firms, and competition for deals would be even fiercer than it already is.
There's a reason that so many tech-focused venture firms are located in Silicon Valley. It makes it easier for partners, associates and analysts to hit the pavement and keep their ears to the ground. Why do they want to do this? One of the big reasons: to obtain meaningful information about potential investment opportunities before (hopefully) it becomes widely known. This is particularly valuable in the context of early-stage investments.
If, for the sake of argument, we assume that Mattermark has actually developed a model that can identify promising startups that aren't getting the attention they deserve, you're destroying the value of that model by selling its output to anybody willing to shell out a paltry $6,000/year for your pro service.