BuzzFeed closes $19.3M series D funding

buzzfeedWeb social publisher BuzzFeed, has completed a Series D financing of $19.3 million led by NEA. Previous investors RRE, Hearst, SoftBank, and Lerer Ventures participated. Michael and Kass Lazerow, serial entrepreneurs and co-founders of Buddy Media, joined the round as new investors.

“We have the senior management, board, and investors we need to build the next great media company: socially native, tech enabled, with massive scale. We are all focused on that big goal and raised this capital to move even faster,” said Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed Founder and CEO.

In December, the company passed 40 million unique monthly visitors (Google Analytics), with growth driven by social (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) and mobile (over one third of all BuzzFeed traffic). The company also grew revenue more than threefold in 2012, exclusively from content-driven, social advertising, and grew staff to 180 employees.

The company will use the capital to further mobile development, expand geographically, grow its editorial team, invest in video, and work on new initiatives that will be announced later in the year.

USA, New York

WPP acquires stake in Globant

wpp-globantWPP is to acquire a 20% stake in Globant S.A. Globant provides both technical expertise and design and creative capabilities in the development of software products that can be applied to digital marketing campaigns on a global scale.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Globant is a rapidly growing business employing 2,700 engineers, marketing specialists and designers in 21 offices across 14 cities in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, the United States and the United Kingdom. The company’s approach is unique in that it provides clients with both the infrastructure and technical support that drive digital marketing campaigns, combined with the creative and design skills usually found alone in digital agencies.

Globant’s net revenues for the year ended 31 December 2011 were US$90 million and net revenues for the six months to 30 June 2012 were US$56.9 million with total assets of US$69 million as of 30 June 2012. WPP will invest approximately $70 million in acquiring the Globant stake.

“Increasingly, clients want better coordination between their IT departments and their marketing departments, between their Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and their Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs),” said WPP Chief Executive Sir Martin Sorrell. “There are many consulting companies or digital agencies that are expert in one function or the other. Few, if any, do both and even fewer can integrate deep technical and creative capabilities on a global scale as Globant does. Partnering with Globant will allow our companies to increasingly provide our clients with insights and skills that will make their digital marketing efforts even more effective and simpler to manage at both the front and back ends.”

Globant has deep experience in working in state of the art digital marketing spaces including, but not limited to, mobile, gamification, social networks, cloud computing, big data and e-commerce. Globant’s clients include American Express, JP Morgan Chase & Co., LinkedIn, Electronic Arts, Google, Coca-Cola, National Geographic, Zynga and Sabre Holdings, as well as a number of WPP companies, such as JWT, Young & Rubicam, Grey, GroupM and Kantar.

UK, London & Argentina, Buenos Aires

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Groupon acquires channel management provider CommerceInterface

Groupon has acquired CommerceInterface, a provider of web-based channel management technology that helps manufacturers, distributors and retailers succeed at managing their businesses and selling online. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Groupon has used CommerceInterface technology since April 2012 to streamline operations of the growing Groupon Goods platform and automate interactions with thousands of existing vendors. The acquisition enables Groupon to leverage infrastructure provided by CommerceInterface to support and optimise the Groupon Goods business around the world in 2013.

“CommerceInterface has proven to be an important piece of Groupon Goods infrastructure in the U.S., quickly and reliably streamlining the execution of orders and other vendor interactions,” said Faisal Masud, head of Groupon Goods. “We look forward to enhancing our abilities to better support merchants overseas beginning early next year.”

CommerceInterface will no longer service other retail channels and current customers will have the option to transition to other vendors over the next six months with migration support from the company.

USA, Chicago, IL

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TechTarget acquires LeMagIT

TechTarget_Logo-TaglineTechTarget has acquired the websites and product offerings of LeMagIT, a strategic partner with TechTarget since 2010.

Since its launch in 2008, LeMagIT’s network of sites has offered French-language news and analysis for IT decision makers on core enterprise IT topics such as cloud computing, virtualization, security, and storage and attracts over 250,000 visits per month. The existing management and editorial team of LeMagIT, led by Chairman Eric Ochs, and Founder and Chief Operating Officer David Castaneira, will be remaining with the company and working with TechTarget to continue to grow its French business. Ochs was formerly CEO at IDG France, and Castaneira, formerly the Online Director at IDG France.

LeMagIT’s network includes LeMagIT.fr, StratégiesCloud.fr, as well as an IT white paper and webcast library, LesSourcesIT.fr.

“Our EMEA-based business continues to see very strong growth, and this acquisition is a further investment in our capabilities there,” said Greg Strakosch, CEO, TechTarget. “It is also a continuation of our strategy of having direct operations in the major markets across the world, giving our advertisers the ability to run integrated campaigns across multiple geographies.”

USA, Newton, MA & France, Paris

Publicis Groupe acquires UK digital agency Outside Line

PublicisPublicis Groupe has acquired British digital agency Outside Line, a specialist in social and experiential media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2000 and based in London, Outside Line has become one of the top 5 independent social agencies in the UK according to New Media Age (Top 100 agencies report). The skill-set of the agency’s 68-strong team ranges from digital design and development to content creation, customer relations management and experience-driven social media marketing. Outside Line’s client list includes Andy Murray , Arla Foods (Cravendale and Lurpak), British Gas, Queen and Virgin Galactic, and its award-winning campaigns include “Music Inspired” for Beck’s, “Newsroom Blog” for British Gas, “Milk Matters” for Cravendale, and “Food Beats” for Lurpak.

Outside Line will be integrated into the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide network, working alongside the Saatchi & Saatchi London office and further improving the agency’s ability to deliver highly creative and effective multi-channel digital output at a faster, more efficient and cost-effective rate. Ant Cauchi and Lloyd Salmons , in addition to their current roles as Outside Line’s co-founders, will take senior roles as digital directors at Saatchi & Saatchi London , and will be responsible for integrating existing business and growing digital revenue. They will work closely with Saatchi & Saatchi’s creative partners Kate Stanners and Paul Silburn , director of strategy Richard Huntington , as well as the director of integration Matt Groves , while reporting to Saatchi & Saatchi London’s CEO Magnus Djaba .

“Outside Line is a perfect cultural fit for Saatchi & Saatchi,” said Magnus Djaba, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi London . “Both our agencies share an exciting vision. We’re driven to create interactive social currency that is world-class, both online and offline – work that people share online, tweet about, and talk about in pubs, playgrounds and by the coffee machine. We’re thrilled to be able to seize this opportunity to strengthen our digital core and further boost our service to clients in this crucial sector.”

France, Paris & UK, London

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Creston acquires DJM Digital Solutions

Creston plc has acquired 75 per cent of the share capital of DJM Digital Solutions Ltd, a UK-based digital healthcare agency for up to £1.8 million. DJM’s founder, Dominic Marchant who will remain as Managing Director.

£1.2 million is being paid in cash. Net current assets of £0.3 million is retained within DJM. There will be a final cash payment based on average profit to March 2015 of up to £1.8 million which will be payable in June 2015. From April 2018 onwards the minority shareholders in DJM will have a request to put option and from April 2020 onwards Creston will have a call option, both options are for the remaining 25 per cent of DJM for a maximum consideration of £2.4 million.

For the financial year ended 31 July 2012, DJM’s unaudited statutory accounts reported revenues of £0.6 million and a pro-forma profit before taxation of £0.2 million, including a normalised shareholder Managing Director salary. As at 31 July 2012 DJM had net assets of £0.5 million.

Creston’s Health division and DJM have had a successful trading relationship for the past year and already have many clients in common (including AstraZeneca, Abbott and Takeda) at a UK, European and global level.  Recent collaborations between DJM and Creston Health have already led to new client work with Leo Pharma, UCB and Pfizer.

Based in Richmond, Surrey, and founded in 2001 with the aim of creating digital technology solutions for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, DJM employs 26 professionals with a broad spectrum of capabilities.

Commenting on the acquisition, Don Elgie, Group Chief Executive of Creston plc, said: “The healthcare industry has historically been very cautious about the use of digital marketing in light of the tight regulatory environment in which it operates. However, the rapid uptake of smartphones and tablets among physicians is revolutionising work practices and the pharmaceutical industry is having to adapt its marketing communications accordingly.

“In the UK, in an industry where digital has been adopted quite late compared to other business sectors, DJM is one of the largest and most respected independent digital healthcare agencies. Working with our other health companies, as part of Creston Health, we are confident that DJM will facilitate the continued growth of the division as digital becomes an ever-more significant element of our clients’ and prospective clients’ briefs.”

UK, London & Richmond, Surrey

 

MXP4 raises €3 million

Paris based MXP4, a business that develops, publishes and marketa innovative tools and applications for musicians and record has raised €3 million. The round was led by Orkos Capital and included existing investors Sofinnova and Ventech.

Location: France, Paris
Sector: Internet
Ref: F231109-401

Contact us at pkelly@fusioncorp.co.uk or visit the Fusion Corporate Partners website

Mail.com acquires Boy Genius Report

Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC), the digital media company that owns and operates the Mail.com portal and email service as well as lifestyle brands including, Deadline.com, HollywoodLife.com, Movieline.com and OnCars.com, announced today its acquisition of BGR, or Boy Genius Report as it was formally known. At around one million user, BGR is one of the most visited mobile/gadget blogs in the world.

Launched in October 2006, BGR.com has grown quickly to become one of the top three sites in the mobile category. Demonstrating its appeal to a broad audience that extends beyond mobile, Technorati also lists BGR.com as one of the Top 50 most influential content destinations in the world, across all categories.

BGR was founded by Jonathan Geller who started off writing for Engadget as an anonymous blogger

Commenting on the move to MMC, Geller said “I’m excited to be able to partner with Jay Penske and MMC on the BGR property. I look forward to continuing to grow BGR globally with the support of MMC’s talented team and extended network. Our new platform will allow us to deliver the same high quality exclusive breaking news that we’re known for, but to an even larger audience. I’m also excited to have the opportunity to expand BGR beyond just the mobile category to reach a new core of ferociously dedicated readers”.

“We’re thrilled to announce our acquisition of BGR, and partnership with Jonathan. Very much in the mold of Nikki Finke of Deadline.com, Jonathan has singlehandedly built an influential site with original content that appeals to an extremely engaged and loyal following in one of the largest and most exciting categories online–and he’s done it all before his 23rd birthday” said Jay Penske, the founder, Chairman and CEO of MMC. “I believe MMC is a perfect fit for Geller and BGR.com–because we provide the most original and conversational content on the web, and have the skill-set, infrastructure and reach to accelerate the scale of the BGR brand”.

Link: Read Geller’s comments about the deal on the BGR blog
Location: USA, Los Angeles, CA
Sector: Internet, Publishing
Ref: F231109-399

Contact us at pkelly@fusioncorp.co.uk or visit the Fusion Corporate Partners website