Interpublic Group (IPG) is following other global agency holding companies WPP and Publicis in forming its own venture capital arm, Mediabrands Venture Fund. IPG has already made some considerable new-media investments, including positions in Facebook, Spot Runner, and online marketing firm Huge. The new fund will invest in both business ideas generated inside the company, as well as outside startups:
MediaPost: “The venture fund’s mission is to encourage and recognise innovation and to provide employees with investment and a chance to develop groundbreaking ideas and subsequently transform them into successful ventures that differentiate our family of brands and our products,” explained Joe Benarroch-vice president-corporate affairs at Mediabrands.
Benarroch said the fund would focus on “new business models, new types of media and marketing services, new media and marketing related technology” and that the Mediabrands management team would select up to three ideas annually for up to six months of funding. The venture leads can be generated by any of Interpublic’s 6,500 media employees, and could come from within any of its operating divisions, including Initiative, Universal McCann, and Magna.
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