It's great to see that Noah Brier's Percolate has secured it's first round of funding. I think it's a truly interesting service that fullfills a growing need, and the slight pivot they have just done to refocus more on offering curation services for brands rather than individuals makes a whole bunch of sense.
Brands can map their interests and goals against a wealth of content sources that Percolate scrapes daily. The Percolate algorithm then bubbles up the most interesting stories, and presents them to a 'brand editor' to curate and comment on before publishing.
As brands increasingly become content producers, and move into content hungry practices and channels, creating interesting stuff on a sustained basis is becoming a real challenge. As does mastering not just the stock, but the flow (flow being "pieces of content, produced rapidly and at a low cost"). Brands simply do not have the resource capability to accomodate this emerging requirement without utilising different forms of curation including algorithmic, social, as well as professional. As usual, it is by overlaying the best that technology can offer, with the capability of smart, talented people that works.
This begs an interesting question about the growing requirement for 'Brand Editors'. Is this a new role, or simply a new skill? As an aside, I think many media owners have been very slow at realising the opportunity that exists for them in applying their assets and skills in content creation and curation in new ways in order to generate new partnerships with brands, but that's another story.