Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Martini Media Network closes $6 million in funding from a very unlikely source: Reed Elsevier Ventures

The irony must make former RBI employees positively sick: Reed Elsevier Ventures has teamed up with Granite Ventures and Venrock to extend $6 million of Series B financing to Martini Media Network, an online media company targeting young, affluent consumers.
From the press release:

"We're thrilled that these investors recognized the power behind our business: reaching high-value, high-influence audiences online, at work and at play," said Skip Brand, Martini's CEO. "We've seen great success in connecting premium brands with affluent consumers, the top 25 percent of the online population who do a majority of all spending – we're incredibly excited about our opportunities to expand in the U.S. and internationally."

"Martini is a very compelling investment opportunity for Reed Elsevier Ventures. The company's approach to this market segment is highly differentiated," said Kevin Brown, partner at Reed Elsevier Ventures.

Former publishers and employees of RBI, many of who are currently working on redesigning and updating weak web properties, or creating initial mobile media products, must be shaking their heads right now.

But Reed Elsevier Ventures, which is, after all, merely a division of the giant parent company, may have seen this as an investment less in New Media and more in a company with an attractive target audience.

"By targeting the affluent at work and at play, they're (Martini) seeing very strong consumer engagement which is leading to excellent results for advertisers," said Brian Ascher, partner at Venrock. "We expect continued growth from the Martini team, and are excited to see the results as they expand from the web and email to video, social media, and mobile."

(Disclosure: I am a former RBI group publisher -- though that was ten years ago.)