Axel Springer, the German media publisher, has invested €30 million into business internet, mobile and advertising company builder and operational venture capital fund, Project A.
Founded in early 2012, Project A Ventures has already sold first stakes in some of the 15 startups it has financed. In addition to the monetary support, it also provides operational expertise in performance marketing, IT, business, intelligence and organisational structure.
Given Axel Springer’s ownership of affiliate networks, zanox and Affiliate Window, it is no surprise that the performance marketing aspect of Project A’s work is the part which is of most interest to the publishing firm.
Broadening Investment Opportunity
Jens Müffelmann, head of Axel’s electronic media division, said as much in a statement, but also mentioned the company’s history of pursuing potential businesses that were complementary to its own.
“This participation in Project A Ventures closes the gap between our strategic late-stage investments and our early-stage activities, amongst others in the field of performance marketing,” Müffelmann explained.
“The founders have been successful for a number of years in entrepreneurial development of online businesses. Now we want to strengthen this team with our media expertise, our international network and our experience in portfolio construction, networking and development."
Based out of offices in Berlin and São Paulo, Project A already has a couple of performance-related startups on its books. The first, Glow, is an FBX software-as-a service ad platform that helps with ad creation, optimisation, engagement and insights on the social network.
Eyeota, another of Project A’s babies, is more for the data analysts. With it, publishers should be able to build and segment audience data, then sell it on the company’s data marketplace. The startup could be the answer to companies’ cries for data to be made available.
Whilst Axel Springer’s €30 million cheque is significant, it is dwarfed by the €50 million of capital leading investor, The Otto Group, a mail order and e-commerce company that operates in across Germany and France, has made available.