Loomia raises $5 million to spread social-recommendation widgets

The maker of a downloadable plug-in for Facebook users nabs millions in a first round of funding from investors including Asset Management and Peacock Equity.

San Francisco-based Loomia, maker of personal-recommendation plug-in SeenThis, plans to announce Wednesday that it has brought in $5 million in a first round of funding from investors including Asset Management, Peacock Equity, and Telefonica Capital.

In late 2006, the company raised less than $1 million from a group of angel investors that included Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, and Aydin Senkut.

Loomia , originally founded in 2005 as a recommendation service for podcasts, makes a downloadable application called SeenThis. The plug-in, which was introduced in late January, connects news, retail, and social-networking sites in such a way that users can learn what their friends are reading or buying on third-party sites. For example, SeenThis users can view what their friends from Facebook have been reading on the sites of The Wall Street Journal, NBC Universal, and CNET Networks, publisher of News.com. (These sites are partners of Loomia.)

The company plans to use the money to hire engineers, as well as sales and marketing staff. It currently employs less than 20 full-time people. Dave McMurtry, Loomia's CEO, said that Loomia will be announcing new partners soon, including social networks apart of Facebook.

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