Moontoast Raises $5M For Premium Social Ads

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Social advertising startup Moontoast just announced that it has raised $5 million in Series B funding.

CEO Blair Heavey told me that the company currently works with about 50 clients. It’s not an enormous list, but one that includes names like Universal, Lexus, Nike, Hyundai, Lady Antebellum, Time, and Simon & Schuster. Advertisers use Moontoast to create custom, interactive ads for social media — the ad types listed on the Moontoast site include a “social store,” surveys, sweepstakes, and a unit to offer free MP3s in exchange for email addresses.

Co-founder and CTO Marcus Whitney told me that the ads usually incorporate some form of rich media, but they aren’t just traditional ads repackaged for Facebook or Twitter.

“In the social advertising world, the actual creative is conversational,” Whitney said. “It’s much more marketing than standard, old world advertising. Our units are meant to really bring the conversation to life.”

The round was led by The Martin Companies and brings Moontoast’s total funding to around $14 million. Heavey said the funding should allow the startup to reach profitability.

In addition to announcing its Series B, Moontoast is also updating its platform today with what Whitney said is a new version of its analytics service incorporating data from the Facebook Ads API. He said the company plans to continue improving the analytics side of the platform throughout the year.

Moontoast was founded in Nashville, and even though half the team is now in Boston, Whitney said you can still see the Nashville influence in some ways — for example, in the fact that many of its initial clients were musicians.