Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that two Maryland tech companies received investments totaling $350,000 through the State’s InvestMaryland program, which was created by Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly to make venture capital investments in promising Maryland startups in high-tech, high-growth fields. The State invested $200,000 in SocialToaster, a Baltimore firm specializing in social media and customer engagement, has been approved for a $200,000 investment and $150,000 in ReelGenie, a new online service based in Silver Spring that creates high-quality videos from a customer’s photos and digital media.
“Supporting our entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses is a top priority for Maryland as we grow our Innovation Economy. Our high-tech entrepreneurs place Maryland at the forefront of innovation and discovery,” said Governor O’Malley. “We're pleased to make these investments in ReelGenie and SocialToaster, as well as the many others that have benefited from the InvestMaryland program, and we look forward to their future growth and success in our State.”
Located in Baltimore, SocialToaster was one of three finalists in the Information Technology category in the inaugural InvestMaryland Challenge, Maryland’s national business competition that awarded more than $425,000 in prizes in April. SocialToaster helps businesses amplify their marketing messages by using their biggest fans to enhance brand awareness, increase and improve website traffic, and expand social media engagement. The company has gained national recognition for its industry-leading platform, with its most notable successes coming in the entertainment and sports space.
The Baltimore Ravens were one of SocialToaster’s first adopters and the company recently launched programs for A&E's Duck Dynasty and Lifetime Television's Drop Dead Diva and Project Runway. SocialToaster has 17 employees and plans to increase its staff by about 30 percent by the end of the year. Its latest financing round was led by the Propel Baltimore Fund, a partnership of the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Abell Foundation and the France-Merrick Foundation.
“SocialToaster has been committed to the State of Maryland and to Baltimore City since our inception, and we're excited to have that commitment validated by the Maryland Venture Fund. It’s important to us that we maintain strong ties to the community and contribute to the growth of technology innovation in the region,” said SocialToaster cofounder and CEO Brian Razzaque. “The support of the Maryland Venture Fund will help us to not only grow nationally, but to continue to strengthen our roots right here in our own backyard with other great regional organizations.”