Buddy Media, often mistakenly thought of as part of Facebook by virtue of powering eight of the top ten global advertisers’ pages, has obtained $54 million in venture capital.

GGV Capital partner Jeff Richards led the round of funding, which also had Institutional Venture Partners and Bay Partners participating.

Proceeds of the transaction will “more than double product, sales and support staff in the next year, as well as fund additional global offices and acquisitions,” according to the press release announcing the funding.

Buddy Media also announced that Kevin Colleran has joined the company’s board of advisors, Michael Kassan is becoming a special advisor to the CEO and Deven Parekh is now an observer on the board. Parekh is managing director at Insight. Colleran was previously Facebook’s first advertising sales executive. Kassan is chairman and chief executive officer of Medialink.

The venture capitalists involved in Buddy Media’s funding all boast some big names in their respective portfolios. GGV’s includes Pandora, SuccessFactors and Alibaba Group. Institutional Venture Partners has funded Twitter and Zynga. Insight Venture Partners has funded 6waves, LOLapps, Flipboard and Twitter.

This caps off a series of other milestones from the past year, summed up as follows in Buddy’s press release:

  • The company has added close to 200 new customers in 2011, including some of the world’s most recognizable global brands, retailers and media companies such as Ford Motor Company, Hanes, ESPN, Hearst Corporation, and Virgin Mobile USA.
  • The company’s revenue has more than doubled since the end of 2010.
  • The company has maintained a net promoter score of 75 in 2011.
  • Employee headcount has grown from 40 employees in 2009 to almost 200, with continued massive hiring plans for 2011 and beyond.
  • The company acquired social commerce and analytics leader Spinback in May 2011 and plans to complete its integration and roll out this month.
  • The company opened its European Headquarters in London last month and hired Luca Benini, a senior executive from Comscore, as Managing Director, Europe.
  • The company won the TechCrunch “Crunchie” Award for Best Enterprise application in January 2011.
  • CEO and Founder Michael Lazerow was named New York Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2011.
  • The company recently hired Dennis Morgan as Chief Financial Officer. While at Yahoo!, Morgan led corporate finance efforts for more than $5 billion in acquisitions and business development deals .
  • WPP, the world’s largest communications services group, announced a $5 million investment and global partnership with Buddy Media in October 2010.

Buddy Media Chief Executive Officer and Founder Michael Lazerow said:

Buddy Media is at the center of the largest two-way communications revolution that the world has ever seen. Our new funding ensures we have the resources necessary to accelerate the growth of our large, fast-growing software business. I am truly ecstatic to be working with such an amazing group of investors, and believe it’s a testament to our success thus far.

And the leader of the transaction, GGV’s Richards, said:

Buddy Media has a proven management team, sustained revenue growth and a massive market opportunity. The company is the market leader in a category that sits at the intersection of social media and software-as-a-service (SaaS), two of the largest and fastest growing markets in the technology industry. We are very excited to continue to support the company’s rapid expansion in the U.S. and globally. Buddy Media has more than proved itself in terms of building the best team and product in the business. The numbers speak for themselves and I can’t be more excited to work with the entire team.

Readers, what do you expect to see from Buddy Media now that it’s gotten so much funding?