4W MARKETPLACE RAISES 2.5 MILLION EUROS FROM PRINCIPIA SGR
Thanks to this deal the start-up, created with the support of the venture incubator Digital Magics, will boost technological development and further consolidate its leading position among online advertising platforms for Premium Publishers
Salerno, 24 October 2012 - 4w MarketPlace – the leading premium advertising network within the online performance advertising market and a partner to all the main Italian publishers and media agencies – has announced that Principia SGR has acquired a stake in the company. Principia SGR, one of the largest companies in the Italian venture capital sector, will invest 2.5 million Euros by underwriting a capital increase targeted to finance the start-up incubated by Digital Magics.
The investment will be directed towards the strengthening of the technological department for Research and Development in the computational advertising area and the development of new cutting-edge internet advertising models. This work will continue to be take place at the Fisciano offices and will also benefit from the strategic partnership with the Communication Sciences Department of the University of Salerno.
4w MarketPlace will thus be able to consolidate its presence in the online advertising intermediary market, strengthen its sector leadership amongst platforms designed for Premium Publishers, and to further develop its proprietary technological platform, thus fostering continuous innovation in its portfolio of mobile and social network products and services.
Thanks to the exclusive agreement with Premium Publisher Network – a Consortium of the largest Italian publishers – 4w MarketPlace manages the performance advertising spaces of the most important online newspapers. The company offers investors privileged access to innovative advertising formats on websites, smartphones, Facebook and social network applications.
Since 2011, 4w MarketPlace has been the first and only Italian network to have been certified by Facebook as an advertising provider. This crucial certification enables the company to manage sales of advertising on the social network’s applications. In 2011, 4w MarketPlace showed a 52% revenue growth compared with 2010, with the overall number of the network’s newspapers/online sites growing by 26%.
“4w MarketPlace’s investment round, which was directed alongside one of the most important Italian funds in the sector”, says Gabriele Ronchini, Founder and CEO of 4w MarketPlace, “Represents a significant moment for venture capital in Italy, because it is a relevant national initiative in an alliance of systems. 4w MarketPlace has always been committed to creating market synergies to reinforce its positioning and to compete with international players. The decision to base the development of the platform in the Fisciano offices is a logical consequence of our growth, and the presence in Southern Italy of specialized professional skill, often underrated, which will offer an important contribution to the development of the start-up and which will thus allow us to create new job opportunities for young people in the South.”
“4w MarketPlace works in an area of digital advertising with a model which has already experienced important development overseas”, says Andrea Di Camillo, Partner of Principia SGR, “So I think that this investment in 4w MarketPlace is very interesting to Principia, because of the importance of its technology, team and reference market, which will be a strategic addition to our share portfolio”.
“We are very proud of the agreement that we have reached with Principia SGR”, says Enrico Gasperini, Founder and President of Digital Magics, “Digital Magics has been active since 2008 in its work of financing and accelerating innovative start-ups. We select the best ideas and the most promising talent and we help companies in the first stages of their existence, backing them in further financing rounds and their exit strategy. With the 4w MarketPlace investment we have started to lay the base for the reconstruction and growth of the Italian digital economy, consolidating the start-up and venture capital sector in Italy”.
4w MarketPlace, is a Digital Magics start-up. Thanks to the exclusive agreement with Premium Publisher Network, the consortium founded by Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso and RCS MediaGroup – who have been joined by RAI, La Stampa, ANSA, Gruppo Finelco, Class Editori and the main local newspapers – 4w MarketPlace has confirmed itself since 2009 as an Italian advertising network for managing the contextual spaces of the largest online newspapers of the premium Italian publishers. In 2011, 4w MarketPlace became the first and only Italian network to have been certified by Facebook as an advertising provider, which allows 4w MarketPlace to sell advertising on the social network. In October 2011, 4w MarketPlace also entered the mobile phone market, adding an inventory of applications and Msite. There are three adnetworks which own the company: 4w Net, which offers advertising investors privileged access to a highly-qualified audience and offers publishers maximization of profits from their Internet sites; 4w Mobile, which was specifically conceived for smartphone communication and brings together contextual and visual advertising with the advantages of geolocation, and 4w Social, which manages advertising on the sites and apps integrated in Facebook.
Principia SGR is currently one of the largest companies, by funds under management, operating in the Italian venture capital sector, using two closed-end funds, called “Principia Fund” and “Principia II”, which focus on Italy, particularly the Centre-South of the country, and on typically Italian specialities in terms of function and creativity. The Principia Fund II is also amongst the beneficiaries – together with other management companies – of the resources of the Fondo High Tech Sud (Southern High Tech Fund) promoted by the DIT (Department for Innovation and Technology of the Prime Minister’s Office). The original management formula of Principia Funds has its roots in the combination of its experience in the fields of business innovation and the “digital world”, and its relationship with the world of research, university, business and finance. The SGR company team, made up by the management Andrea Di Camillo, Michele Costabile, Stefano Siglienti and Andrea Gerosa and by the institutional investors CNR – National Research Council and the BNC Foundation, which is also a hybrid, in part explains the DNA and the culture which pushes SGR to adopt an industrial approach and to offer coaching which is also operational to the start-ups in which it invests, following ambitious development goals.
Digital Magics is an investment company which has operated since 2008 as an incubator of innovative start-ups, which offer highly-technological content sand products. More than a simple seed fund or accelerator, Digital Magics is a venture incubator: it founds and builds internet start-ups and also invests its own capital. It has as its starting point talent and ideas, transforming them into successful, disruptive businesses in the Italian and international digital economy. The incubator promotes an enterprising and risk-taking culture, contributing to economic growth and to youth employment. Digital Magics offers services to sustain innovation, the setting up and development of innovative start-ups, and backs them in the successive phases when capital is sought by investors whether private or public, Italian or international. The Digital Magics model is unique in Italy and is based on the Digital Magics LAB: the team which identifies, analyses and launches new initiatives, giving innovative start-ups mentoring, financial, administrative, strategic, logistic, technological, communication and marketing services, as well as business management support which is able to accelerate the company growing process. Since its foundation, it has invested around 10 million Euros, creating 30 start-ups, which today are at the forefront of the main areas of the online market, and over 300 jobs.
For further information:
4w MartketPlace – Corporate Press Office
Giorgio Bocchieri email@example.com
Eleonora Granata firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Magics – Press Office
Giorgio Bocchieri email@example.com
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