New York, NY (February 19, 2012)
– Digital First Ventures, the venture capital arm of Digital First Media, which operates both MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company, today announced an equity investment with the digital advertising startup OwnLocal.
“The partnership between Digital First Media and OwnLocal focuses on accelerating these proven advertising solutions to create value for our advertisers, our company and our partner,” said John Paton, Chief Executive Officer of Digital First Media. “The value alignment between our companies – the transformative power of digital in the local marketplace – as well as the scale of the Digital First Media network will drive this growth.”
OwnLocal, founded in 2010, provides white-label advertising platforms that power the local market’s print-to-digital conversion. The partnership – Digital First Ventures’ first – focuses on the growth and expansion of OwnLocal’s services across the Digital First Media network.
OwnLocal provides Digital First Media with a small- and medium-sized advertising solution for local advertisers and complements the Company’s AdTaxi platform, which is designed for larger local and national advertisers.
The agreement focuses on the deployment of OwnLocal’s AdForge and Local Hero products. AdForge transforms traditional print advertising campaigns to digital advertising through search-engine optimization and search engine marketing. Local Hero is OwnLocal’s social media-powered directory that captures social media conversations about a business and delivers that stream back to the advertiser’s directory listing or website.
“This partnership brings the power of OwnLocal’s technology to one of the largest local newspapers companies in America. We look forward to delivering results for Digital First’s tens of thousands of small business customers. All of us at OwnLocal couldn’t be more excited to be working with their leadership, publishers and salespeople to build a vibrant and growing business around digital advertising,” said Lloyd Armbrust, Founder and CEO of OwnLocal.
“This is a partnership of like-minded companies working together to transform the marketplace,” said Ben Lerer, Partner, Lerer Ventures. “On both sides, this partnership builds on the strengths of the other – OwnLocal’s technology platform needs scale and Digital First Media’s vast local advertiser base needs to reach more customers. This is what media companies should be doing.”
OwnLocal is the Automatic Digital Ad Agency for Media. Its products reach millions of people each day. It has received funding from Y Combinator, Baseline Ventures, Lerer Media Ventures, Automattic (the makers of WordPress), The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 500 Startups, Paul Buchheit, Joshua Schachter, Alex Moore and more to build the future business model for local media. OwnLocal has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, the Washington Post, Editor & Publisher, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more for its important work.
About Digital First Media
Digital First Media is headquartered in New York City, and jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company. Digital First Media reaches 61.5 million Americans each month through more than 800 multi-platform products across 18 states. About MediaNews Group, Inc. MediaNews Group, Inc. is the nation’s second largest newspaper company as measured by circulation, with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. MediaNews Group and its affiliated companies publish 57 daily newspapers and more than 100 non-daily publications in 11 states.
About Journal Register Company
Journal Register Company is a leader in local news and information in 10 states. The Company’s more than 350 multi-platform products reach an audience of 21 million people each month. For more information visit the company website at www.JournalRegister.com
About Digital First Ventures
Digital First Ventures (DFV) is focused on helping media entrepreneurs incubate, accelerate and validate their start-up companies in the news, content, sales and audience development space. As a division of Digital First Media – which operates more than 800 media products serving 61.5 million customers each month and annual revenues of more than $1.4 billion – DFV is ideally suited to accelerate value creation for media start-ups.