Analysts and VCs alike are pegging social media ad spending (and investments) to slump this year — but don’t tell that to SocialVibe. The LA-based social media platform has picked up $8 million in a second round led by JAFCO Ventures, bringing its total raise to just over $12 million. Previous investor Redpoint Ventures also participated in the funding, which the company will use to build out its ad services.
SocialVibe lets users choose a cause to support and then a brand to “sponsor” them, from biggies like Coca-Cola, to indies like apparel-maker Sub Urban Riot. They post a branded badge to their social media profile and the sponsor donates to the cause according to the number of views it gets. Users can choose multiple causes and sponsors, and the badges work across nets like Facebook, MySpace; (NYSE: NWS) with integration into WordPress and IM clients like AIM coming down the pike.
SocialVibe’s president Joe Marchese said it has raised over $250K for charities thus far, but the company isn’t making money yet because it donates 100 percent of the proceeds to the causes. Marchese said that’s slated to change within the next few months (why else would VCs have pumped more money in?), as the company shifts to a revenue share model: “It’s similar to any ad network play — a share [of the spend] goes to the publishers and to the network. With causes, the people are the publisher, so their share goes to the charity, then a split to the network they’re on, then to us.” Release.