Optimal, a startup offering technology and data for social media marketers, just announced that it raised $7 million in Series B funding. The company was previously known XA.net, but it changed names back in April, embracing the term that it was already using for its optim.al social ad campaign manager. The company is part of Facebook's Preferred Marketing Developer program, and it offers both a platform for buying Facebook ads and analytics tools allowing customers to measure things like brand engagement. It also says its revenue from social media advertising has quadrupled year-over-year. The new funding is supposed to help the company expand both its sales/marketing and engineering teams. When I emailed founder and CEO Rob Leathern about his plans for 2013, he replied: We are all about transparency. We will see strong 2013 growth in clients and ad spend flowing through our software, both real-time-bidded social and native ad formats, unrivaled automation in both media buying and analytics, and expansion across multiple social media platforms for both audience analytics and buying. Leathern noted that Optimal already supports ad retargeting through the Facebook Exchange, Facebook's premium ads, and "all FB native ads." It's still building out its product offerings, for example with the recent addition of a new Page Insights tool. New investors in the round include DoubleRock, The Social Internet Fund, Siemer Ventures, Signal Ventures, John Pappajohn, former GoDaddy CEO Warren Adelman, Social Starts, James Altucher, and Silicon Valley Bank. The company previously raised a small $600,000 Series A, and existing backers Neu Ventures, Stonnington Asset Allocation Fund, and WGI Group also participated in the round. Altucher (who, in addition to being an investor in Salesforce-acquired Buddy Media, is also a TechCrunch columnist) and DoubleRock's Suraj Kumar Rajwani are joining Optimal's board of directors. "They have the most efficient platform for reaching and managing a brand's reach across social media," Altucher said in the funding press release. "In other words, I selfishly use them for my own purposes. Additionally, they are a one-stop shop for me to buy media across social platforms, including Facebook retargeting. I had been looking for this, so I invested." Optimal is also announcing that Paul Suh, formerly senior vice president of finance and operations at LiveGamer, is joining the company as its chief finance officer.
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