Moontoast's 'New Funnel'
Moontoast, the Boston-based and Nashville-linked social-commerce platform that enables "brands" and their owners to generate fan income, may conduct an A-round capital raise to accelerate the business, CEO Blair Heavey told VNC.
Moontoast has chosen an "early market," but one that is "fast-moving," thus the company has a sense of urgency about building awareness and revenue, Heavey said. Sustaining "the diligence to keep up" with the shifting marketplace is one of Heavey's greatest challenges, he said.
|CEO Blair Heavey
Boston, San Francisco and New York City provide the best vantage-points for keeping track of the sector's evolution, Heavey (at right) noted. Nonetheless, he noted that he spends roughly a fourth his time traveling in search of new business-development partners and tracking the industry.
Founders and investors including the Martin Companies, former interim CEO and investor Stephen Collins, Country performers and Angels from Tennessee and the West Coast have invested in the "low millions-of-dollars, so far," said Heavey. The startup is generating revenue, but profits are not likely before "early 2012," he added. A target number for the A round has not been established, Heavey told VNC in January. In September, Heavey told the Boston Globe he had "funding commitments" of $5 million and was drawing on that, as needed.
Moontoast management is not aware of any direct competitors, i.e., offerings that match or surpass Moontoast's integrated portfolio of Moontoast's Impulse app for Facebook, multimedia commerce communities and e-retailing storefronts that can be accessed via the social-media spectrum, plus strong support in the form of best-practice resources and analytics, Heavey explained. Moontoast revenue comes from fees for consulting and analytics, and a share of e-commerce revenue via Moontoast-supported storefronts. During a recent interview, Heavey said Moontoast's full-service customers numbered "north of 25."
Moontoast. which was officially launched during the South by Southwest Festival two years ago, has evolved: What began as a a platform for creating networks of persons with knowledge and expertise, is now focused on e-commerce between celebrities or brand-owners and their customers or fans. The notion of a "brand of me" that was embodied in the original Moontoast model remains an ingredient of Moontoast, although much more emphasis is now given distributed storefronts and engagement via social media, Heavey said. Read the VNC story on the founding of Moontoast.
The company has 11 employees, including Heavey, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Marcus Whitney and VP-Product Development Dan Cosseboom, all of whom spend the majority of their time in the Boston area, said Heavey. Seven Moontoasters call Middle Tennessee home, he added.
Prior to Moontoast, Heavey was CEO of MyPerfectGig, executive in residence at Northbridge Venture Partners and CEO of DirectoryM, among other posts. Heavey earned his MBA at the Olin School of Babson College and his twin bachelor's in political science and computer science at Boston Cllege. VNC