Social Marketing Startup BlogFrog Raises $3.2M

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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.