BuzzSumo - Story of the Popular Bootstrapped Content Marketing Platform

Company Profile is an initiative by ListMyStartUp to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by BuzzSumo.

There is always a thirst for content. An obligation and a desire exist in every creator to deliver the best for their audience. Even though you have a niche, you often get confused about what to write. This is because the success of a site/blog relies on how well the content manages to pull viewers towards it. For this success to happen, choosing the right ideas for content and analyzing its performance becomes necessary. Now, how to do it?

Here comes BuzzSumo to assist you with all the content-related activities. It helps you find the right and trending topics for your content and keeps track of its performance. This platform also identifies influencers to boost up your success. BuzzSumo was established in 2014, as a content marketing tool. Today, the company has gained the trust of thousands of marketers like Expedia, HubSpot, The Telegraph, etc.,

Read this article to know about BuzzSumo, its startup story, growth, features, competitors, and more.

BuzzSumo - Company Highlights

  • Company Name-BuzzSumo Ltd.
  • Headquarters-Brighton, United Kingdom
  • Industry-Content Marketing, Search Engine Marketing
  • Founder-Henley Wing, James Blackwell
  • Founded-2014
  • Parent Organisation-Brandwatch

BuzzSumo - Latest News

November 15, 2021 - BuzzSumo has announced Black Friday Deal with exciting benefits and services for the users. The company claims that the users can save $1920, which is a 67% offer on the original price, with its Black Friday Deals.

July 5, 2021 - BuzzSumo conducted an analysis and research of over 3.6 Billion posts to find the reason for a content's success or failure. The company then published its findings and also provided insights on creating an Evergreen Content.

BuzzSumo - About the Company

BuzzSumo is a cloud platform that helps users to find ideas for content, based on popular topics, keywords and market trends. It helps users in developing content marketing strategies for their websites. Analyzing and tracking the performance of the content and collaborating with influencers are the other best services provided by BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo was founded by Henley Wing and James Blackwell in 2014. The company has its only office situated in Brighton, United Kingdom. Since its inception, the company has always retained its standard among its users worldwide. BuzzSumo’s platform carries 8 Billion archived articles and 5 years of historical data, that help their customers to discover and deliver quality content to readers.

About Buzzsumo

Henley Wing and James Blackwell 

James Blackwell and Henley Wing were the creators and founders of BuzzSumo. But the company was established also with the help of two other people, Steve Rayson and Stephen Walsh. Steve Rayson held the position of Non-Executive Director in BuzzSumo. Later in 2018, Rayson and Walsh exited the company and founded Anders Pink, a content curation platform, independently of BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo - Startup Story

Henley Wing and James Blackwell, the two friends, had been developing the codes for BuzzSumo since early 2013. They did this during their spare time with the idea of turning it into a business in the future. Later in December 2013, the two developers happened to meet Steve Rayson (then Director of BuzzSumo 2014-18). Steve Rayson previously worked as a Consultant and Director in various corporates. Wing, Blackwell and Rayson, all agreed to take BuzzSumo to the market. As a result, BuzzSumo Ltd. was established in March 2014 with its early version. They invested their own money as seed capital and launched the business full-fledged with their BuzzSumo Pro Product in September 2014.

BuzzSumo - Mission and Vision

BuzzSumo aims to support writers in creating brilliant content. This can be done through proper analysis of the market and data-driven research. A world with better content is what they believe in. BuzzSumo’s vision is to inspire writers of all categories. The company wanted to help content writers create engaging content on the best ideas, that can be discovered quickly through their platform.

BuzzSumo - Features and Services

This platform operates with four key components. They are:

Keyword Tool

BuzzSumo’s Keyword Tool brings about thousands of related keywords and phrases for you to find the best topic. It also analyses the search trends to find out the effectiveness of your keyword.

Content Research

This platform crawls billion of posts and articles, and provides valuable insights to the users. It identifies the most popular ideas and formats for your niche by going through 5 years of content performance data. You can also benchmark your performance by comparing it with the competitors.

Find Influencers

This tool helps you find popular authors and creators who can drive in more audiences to you. These influencers help in engaging the audiences with your content. With the millions of options available, you can choose the apt influencer for your niche or brand.


BuzzSumo doesn’t stop with just finding topics and helping you publish them. It also keeps track of your performance and monitors the competitor’s and industry’s updates. Any mentions about your brand on social platforms will be alerted to you by this tool. This ensures that you don’t miss anything related to your content or brand.

BuzzSumo - Business Model

BuzzSumo’s business model is to provide insights on trending topics in society or on websites, from which you can figure out an idea of your requirement. BuzzSumo throws light on what type of content works and what does not. This platform brings out the popular trending topics related to your industry. Once gathered, BuzzSumo engulfs you with suggestions of the best ideas for successful content. It also keeps track of the performance of content and alerts you during key moments.

Along with widening their products and services, BuzzSumo primarily focuses on deepening the existing ones. The company wanted to improve the existing services that help users to find their needs quickly and easily. Turning into a Unicorn has never been the aim of BuzzSumo. The founders wanted a profitable business that helps them to reinvest for further development.

BuzzSumo - Revenue Model

BuzzSumo generates revenue through its subscription plans. Also, a free plan, limited to 10 searches per month, is offered to users. In addition to it, this cloud platform has 3 subscription plans which come with a 30-day free trial. The users can also get a discount of 20% when opting for yearly bills. Here is the list of BuzzSumo’s pricing and plans:

  • Pro - $99/month
  • Plus - $179/month
  • Large - $299/month

BuzzSumo - Funding and Investors

BuzzSumo, until today, remains bootstrapped without even a round of funding raised. The founders (James Blackwell, Henley Wing) along with the other two team members (Steve Rayson, Stephen Walsh) invested their money as seed capital. This helped the company grow in its initial stage. The amount invested by them remains undisclosed to this date.

BuzzSumo - Growth

Besides being bootstrapped since its inception in 2014, BuzzSumo has managed to run the business successfully in a competitive market. The word of mouth from users turned out to be a great promotion for the company initially. As a result, BuzzSumo gained a whopping 600% growth in its user base within a year of commencing operations. This brought the numbers to over 1,60,000 free subscribers and 2000 paid customers by the end of 2015. The annual revenue run rate of the same was $2.5 Million and it carried some profits!

After BuzzSumo was acquired by Brandwatch in 2017, this cloud platform started introducing new tools such as Question Analyzer, Youtube Analyzer, and Keyword Tools. The company managed to serve more than 3400 customers and 3,00,000 users around the world by 2017. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, BuzzSumo managed its operations seamlessly with its limited number of employees.

BuzzSumo had grown, but it was at its own pace. It didn’t compare or compete itself with other players to attain a market position. It has shown stability and is being consistent in its growth.

BuzzSumo - Competitors

BuzzSumo has multiple competitors in its field of operation. Here are some of them: - is a content curation tool that enables users to research and publish content on social media and websites.

Meltwater - Meltwater monitors the social media platforms, schedules content and helps users connect with their community.

UpContent - This is a tool used to discover and collaborate with third-party content that offers a wider and better experience for users.

Sprout Social - Sprout Social is a SaaS platform that provides social media management, content publishing and analytics service.

Other platforms like Semrush and Ahrefs are good competitors for BuzzSumo, in areas of Keyword Research and Analytics.

Buzzsumo Parent Company

Brandwatch, a consumer intelligence and a listening platform for social media acquired BuzzSumo in October 2017. The price of this acquisition was undisclosed by the company. Brandwatch was interested in acquiring BuzzSumo since the company kicked off in 2014.

A media intelligence company named Cision acquired Brandwatch along with BuzzSumo in 2021 for $450 Million. Cision is itself a subsidiary of Platinum Equity LLC, an equity investment firm and remains a privately held company.

BuzzSumo - Future Plans

BuzzSumo wanted to make content research easy, quick and more accessible to its users. It is striving hard to improve and enhance its products and services. This platform is aiming to improve the core products such as content research and performance analytic services.

BuzzSumo - FAQs

What is BuzzSumo?

BuzzSumo is a cloud platform that helps users to find ideas for content, based on popular topics, keywords and market trends.

Does BuzzSumo offer Free Trial?

Yes, BuzzSumo’s subscription plans come with a Free Trial for 30 days.

Who founded BuzzSumo?

Henley Wing and James Blackwell are the founders of BuzzSumo.

When was BuzzSumo founded?

The company was established in 2014 in Brighton, UK.

Who are the top competitors of Buzzsumo?

Some of the top Buzzsumo competitors are:

  • Meltwater
  • UpContent
  • Sprout Social

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