ShopSocial, an online commerce site that lets brands reward their customers for buying and sharing offers with friends across social media sites, has raised $1.2 million in venture capital financing, TechCrunch reports.
The most recent project of BuzzLogic co-founder-Todd Parsons, ShopSocial lets users share and recommend products and services with their friends via display ads, commerce sites and fan pages.
Founded last year, the nascent site — not to be confused with ShopSocially, which just secured funding in October — says it is building a platform that will merge advertising, commerce and social recommendations into a new take it is calling “commerce as a social service.”
Currently operating in beta mode, ShopSocial also uses what it calls “merchandising windows” for brands, which allow secure transactions for things like group-buying or limited-period sales.
The new platform will include buttons on display ads and product pages that users click to “share” deals that they particularly like on Facebook and other social services. In return, users will rack up reward points or special payouts like gift cards and future discounts.
The company said it will begin rolling out its new platform sometime this quarter.
Investors interested in grabbing a piece of the white-hot social buying market have been throwing money into the sector for months now, as shopping recommendation site ShopSocially announced $1.1 million in first round financing, and Spanish coupon site Groupalia locked down €5 million in its second institutional round of funding.
Today’s infusion is part of a larger trend in investments in startup social media sites that focus on spreading the word about shopping deals.
These sites include “friend meet-up” forums like SocialMedia, or companies like Groupon that specialize in finding discount deals on everything from luxury brands to restaurant coupons.