In focus: Marcus Whitney

Moontoast co-founder stays true to company — and to Nashville

Moontoast is evolving, but it hasn’t outgrown its Nashville roots.

The company has $5 million in second-round venture financing and recently updated how it does business at the intersection of social media and commerce. It’s true that Chief Executive Officer Marcus Whitney is based in Boston, where Moontoast has its headquarters. But it’s rumor only that he is moving there permanently.

Whitney said he is concentrating on the success of Moontoast’s new social media advertising solution, not finding a new address. The company’s platform enables brands and entertainers to embed their own shopping site within a newsfeed. Now Moontoast, which maintains a Nashville outpost, is adding a focus on providing advertising on Facebook and other social media.

The idea is to deliver “rich experiences” to consumers, Whitney said.

“It’s content. It’s not an ad. It’s very different,” Whitney said. “You might not even know you are looking at an ad.”

Moontoast’s list of national clients includes Nike, Bing, Universal Music and Lexus. The luxury carmaker used custom apps developed by Moontoast to build on its Facebook a buzz for the unveiling of two new models during the Detroit auto show.

Whitney doesn’t have to be in Boston to do that.

“It boils down to building a great product,” he said. “If you execute and build a great product, it doesn’t matter where you are.”

Moontoast’s client list also includes Lady Antebellum, for which the company is handling a new campaign. It’s hard to get more Nashville than that.