A New Investment Bonanza?
Good news for entrepreneurs and startups in the Hispanic and Latin American media, advertising and marketing services sectors. In the last few months there have been several deals involving small and medium sized companies. Mobile Technologies, Local Search, Digital Advertising Services and Online Ad Networks are getting most of investors interests. Other sectors with potential for funding include Web-TV, Online and Social Games, and Vertical Social Networking Sites.
Below some recent transactions
- Briabe Media (Mobile Marketing)
Venice, California-based Briabe Media, a mobile marketing firm targeting Hispanic, African, and Asian American consumers, last spring raised more than US $2 million in funding from Stochasto Holdings AS of Norway. According to Briabe, the funding also includes a joint venture between the company and Stochasto Holdings AS.
- Hipcricket (Mobile Advertising)
In August mobile ad network Hipcricket, which also has a Hispanic mobile ad network, was acquired for US $44.5 million by New York City based mobile marketing company Augme Technologies.
- Voxy (Mobile Language Learning Service)
Voxy, a language-learning service that turns real-world content into personalized language lessons, announced a new Series A investment of US $2.8million. The series was funded by Seavest Inc, ff Venture and Contour Ventures. Voxy belongs to a group of companies, which includes Edioma, who provide different offerings to the Hispanic demographic mostly through the mobile phone. Voxy just launched an iPhone app which teaches English to Portuguese users (thus far all its offerings have been English to Spanish users).”We believe that in many developing markets people will be leapfrogging browser-based applications in favor of mobile devices” said Voxy founder Paul Gollash.
- Batanga acquires I-Network and Ad-Funky
In early June online ad network Batanga bought Latin American online media companies Adfunky and I-Network in two distinct and separate transactions. With the acquisitions of Bogota, Colombia, based I-Network and Buenos Aires, Argentina, headquartered Adfunky, Batanga Network significantly increases its audience, publishing partners and sales organization. GroupArgent represented Adfunky and I-Network in this transaction and acted as their exclusive financial advisor. The details of the transactions were not disclosed. The I-Network business led by Juan Carlos Samper, will continue as is in the region with operations in 14 countries. I-Network will also continue to represent Microsoft Network properties in Latin America. Juan Carlos Samper who will continue to act as I-Network’s CEO, says that I-Network, together with Batanga’s team, will continue to develop its Adstars performance advertising unit, which will also enter the Brazilian market soon. Based in Argentina, Adfunky is a growing ad network and digital media company.
- Demand Media buys Emerging Cast (Content Farm)
In August Demand Media acquired Emerging Cast, a Buenos Aires, Argentina, based company led by Argentinean entrepreneurs Max Goldenberg and Damián Voltes.With the acquisition Demand Media expands into the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets with Spanish-language content. In fact, it is launched the beta version of eHow Español in August. Demand Media, a public company, is a so-called content farm, a firm that produces content (texts, images, videos etc.) according to the requirements of users searching at search engines. .
- Prospect Capital buys Media Division of Alloy (Multicultural Print and Out of Home Placement Firm)
In July the Media Buying Business under Alloy Media + Marketing was acquired by Prospect Capital Corporation. a publicly traded investment company that specializes in mezzanine finance and private equity investments. Effective immediately, the company will operate under the new name re:fuel (www.refuelnow.com), with continued focus on print media buying, out-of-home and sampling services centered on targeted consumer segments including youth, military, multicultural and local audiences, according to President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew T. Sawyer, who previously led the division under Alloy. “Prospect invested $32 million in the media buying units of Alloy Media + Marketing,” Greg Anthony, SVP Sales of re:fuel told Portada.
- VSS funds MediaResponse (Direct Response Media)
In 2008, New York and London based media investment firm VSS (Veronis, Suhler & Stevensohn) invested US $15 million in a group of direct response online marketing firms active in Spain and Latin America. The companies included e-mail marketer Canalmail and in text contextual advertising firm HOTWords. The companies have been regrouped under the MediaResponse umbrella. Other firms are SEO/SEM campaign management (Newbriefing); email list brokering (LeadtoLead) and an online ad network with behavioural targeting technology (Efficienttarget). MediaResponse is headquartered in Madrid and has additional offices in Portugal, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. MediaResponse is headquartered in Madrid and has additional offices in Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
- Matomy-Adperio (Online Ad Marketing)
Online ad company Matomy Media Group Inc, previously named Adsmarket, acquired US digital advertising company Adperio Inc. for US$ 30 million in July. The acquisition will enable Matomy to expand its advertising and marketing foothold in the US, while giving Adperio's clients greater access to European and Latin American markets where Matomy operates. This is second acquisition by Matomy, after acquiring Mexican Advertising firm Ergos Media in 2010.
- Knowledge Networks-Garcia Research (Research)
In July research firm Knowledge Networks acquired Garcia Research Associates (GRA).According to Knowledge Networks, with the acquisition of GRA Cada CabezaSM online panel and team of expert researchers, Knowledge Networks has elevated its long-standing commitment to Hispanic consumer research, becoming the leading force for understanding how to capture US $1 trillion in U.S. buying power among Spanish-speaking Americans.”
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