sábado, 22 de marzo de 2014

Social Marketing Startup BlogFrog Raises $3.2M

BlogFrog, a self-described "social activation platform," has raised $3.2 million in a Series A round of funding.

The company was first known as a community for "mommy bloggers", allowing them to add social features to their sites. In the last year or so, however, BlogFrog has shifted direction, using its technology and audience for a new end — helping marketers reach an influential audience.

That doesn't mean it's another ad network, says co-founder and CEO Rustin Banks: "We're basically anti-banner ads." Instead, it currently offers two products. One creates online communities where fans of a given brand, like this site for KOA campgrounds. The other recruits influential bloggers (Banks says BlogFrog has a database of 65,000) to post on topics related to a campaign, and then include an ad unit at the end with a call to join the conversation. See, for example, this post on the Buried With Children blog for a LEGO campaign.

The round was led by Grotech Ventures, with participation from existing investors, including TechStars founder David Cohen. Banks says the big plan for the money is to "get the word out" — he estimates that the company is only selling 5 percent of the campaigns that it could with the bloggers in its database. Among other things, that means doubling the head count this year and opening an office in New York City.

BlogFrog is an instant community platform used by bloggers to enable readers to interact with each other, engage in like-minded discussions, and share rich media content like photos and videos. BlogFrog powers thousands of niche communities that are interconnected via the company's distributed community platform, which allows anyone to create, find and join a community. BlogFrog powers thousands of mom-centric niche communities, and provides engagement solutions for brands that enable relationship and trust-building with women and mom consumers. BlogFrog...

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Rustin Banks is the co-founder and CEO of BlogFrog, a social networking company that turns blogs into interest-based communities. In less than 18 months, Rustin helped BlogFrog become the largest network of mom bloggers reaching 5.5 million women online. Rustin got his start in online communities when he was 12 years old by hosting computer Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) out of his parent's closet. He got his entrepreneurial start in college when he founded a tennis academy. Rustin earned...

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As one of the longest-established firms in the venture industry, Grotech Ventures has built a reputation for being a collaborative, long-term partner for CEOs and entrepreneurs by aligning their definition of success with that of their partners. Their strategy is simple: early investors in high-potential technology companies. Grotech Ventures initially invests from $500,000 to $5 million and looks to continue investing and building value throughout the growth of your enterprise. They have the operational knowledge, personal networks, and industry expertise...

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