Sunday, January 6, 2013

Principia SGR backs 4W MarketPlace with 2.5 Million Euros

 With this investment the Milan-based innovative startup, born with the support of the venture incubator Digital Magics, aims to strenghten the technological development and to further consolidate its podition as italian leader among onlime advertising platform for Premium Publishers.

4w MarketPlace the leading Italian premium ad-network within the online performance advertising space which partners with the main italian publishers as well as media agencies, has recently announced the entry of Principia SGR in its shareholding by mean of the acquisition of a stake in the company. Principia SGR, one of the largest and leading Italian venture capital firms, has invested 2.5 Million Euros by underwriting a capital increase targeted to back the Milan-based startup created by the venture incubator "Digital Magics".

The investment provided by Principia SGR will help the company to strengthen its technology department for R&D in the field of computational advertising as well as the study of new cutting-edge online advertising models. These activities will be carried out at the company offices in the town of Fisciano, benefiting - among others - from the strategic partnership with the Department of Communication Sciences of the University of Salerno

All this will allow 4w MarketPlace to consolidate its presence
in the online advertising brokerage market, by strengthening its Italian leadership in the area of platforms addressing Premium Publishers, and to further develop its proprietary technological platform, thus fostering continuous innovation in its portfolio of mobile and social network services and products.

Thanks to the exclusive agreement with Premium Publisher Network - a consortium of major italian publishers - 4w MarketPlace manages the main performance and ad-spaces of the most important italian online newspapers. The company provides investors with privileged access to innovative advertising formats on websites, smartphones, Facebook and social network applications.

Since 20114w MarketPlace has been the first and only Italian ad-network receiving the Facebook certfication of advertising provider. This allows the firm to manage sales and advertising on the social network's applications. In 20114w MarketPlace showed a 52% revenue increase with respect to 2010, with the overall number of network's newspapers/online sites growing by 26%. 

4w MarketPlace's investment round surely represents a significant moment for venture capital in Italy. Both investor (Principia SGR) and investee company (4w MarketPlace) have their seats in Southern Italy, in the towns Salerno and Fisciano, respectively. Moreover, the decision to base the development of the ad-platform in the town of Fisciano is a logical consequence of the company growth, which coupled with the presence - in Southern Italy - of highly-skilled professionals, often underrated, will offer an important contribution to the development of the startup allowing to create new job opportunities in an area tormented by high youth unemployment rates.

On the other hand, the financial backing will allow Principia SGR to benefit from the technological worthiness of the investment, the company management as well as reference market by going to integrate its portfolio share in a strategic way.

For the venture incubator Digital Magics the agreement with Principia SGR represents also a milestone in its track-record of incubating and financing innovative startups. By selecting innovative ideas and the best and promising talent, Digital Magics helps  innovative companies by rolling out their disruptive ideas around global markets, accompanying them in the subsequent phases of fund raising from private and institutional investors, italian and international. Since its foundation in 2004Digital Magics has invested over 10 Million € of equity in 30 startups creating thus 300 job places.

4w MarketPlace's entered the mobile market in October 2011 by aggregating inventories of applications and Msites. Three are the proprietary ad-networks of the company:

  1. 4w Netprovides advertisers with a privileged access and highly qualified audience and publishers with revenue maximization from their websites.
  2. 4w Mobile: thought exclusively for mobile, it integrates visual and contextual advertising together with the advantages of geo-localization.
  3. 4w Social: this ad-network manages advertising of on Facebook-integrated apps and sites.
About Principia SGR: The investment company Principia SGR is one of the leading italian venture capital funds at level of funds volume, which operating through the two closed funds, called "Principia" and "Principia II", with a total endowment of 90 Million € focuses its investments in the central-southern part of Italy. In particular, the fund "Principia II" benefits from the resources of the "Fondo High Tech Sud" (Southern High-Tech Fund) promoted by the DIT, the Department for Innovation and Technology of the Presidence of the Council of Ministers).