Public relations firm MWW Group is launching its own venture investment arm: MWW Ventures, the company announced Thursday. Investments will focus on “incubating media, marketing and public relations-related services and technologies that advance the industry and provide valuable tools to brands and media properties,” the company said in a press release. MWW said that its first investment is in BuzzMob, a location-based social media platform. Under the terms of the deal, MWW Group will invest firm resources and services in exchange for equity in the start-up.
MWW Group ( www.mww.com ), a top ten global independent public relations firm, announced today the launch of MWW Ventures, a strategic venture arm of MWW Group. The launch of MWW Ventures is the next step in MWW Group’s commitment to actively advancing the PR, marketing and media industries. MWW Ventures will focus on incubating media, marketing and public relations-related services and technologies that advance the industry and provide valuable tools to brands and media properties.
Led by the senior management team of MWW Group, MWW Ventures will invest MWW Group resources to ensure portfolio companies increase their market profiles, drive product and service sales and build their brand reputation. Following the company’s strong history of internal investment in innovative communications services, the external investments made by MWW Ventures will create new, high-impact, high-return marketing and public relations programs for clients.
“The future of the communications industry will be defined by innovations that not only create value and relevance for our clients, but evolve how society as a whole interacts with the world around us,” said Michael W. Kempner, president and CEO of MWW Group. “With a team of dedicated managers and partners, we look forward to pioneering the next-generation strategies, platforms and technologies for tomorrow’s effective communications campaigns.”
MWW Ventures will work with a select group of companies with solid track records of innovation, including venture capital firms, incubators, trade associations, media partners and universities. Through these partnerships, MWW Ventures will explore strategic investment opportunities, emerging business models, incubator programs and other initiatives. Startups that MWW Ventures will explore include but are not limited to companies in the measurement and analytics, social media management, media targeting, communications CRM, design, media management, audience building and content creation spaces.
First Investment with Location-Based Social Media Platform BuzzMob
The first addition to the MWW Ventures portfolio will be BuzzMob, a location-based social media platform. Under the terms, MWW Group will invest firm resources and services in exchange for equity in the start-up, which launched in August 2010. Services will include a mix of corporate, consumer, and trade marketing, branding, media relations, partnership building, event support, and digital and community management, with the goal of increasing the valuation of the company. In return, MWW will receive equity based off performance.
“MWW Ventures is all about the opportunity to invest in a start-up poised to drive more effective programs for our clients and move our industry forward as a whole,” said Ephraim Cohen, executive vice president, global head of technology and digital content. “BuzzMob is perfectly positioned to capture the need to form social networks around offline line events and, as a result, create new, more effective marketing opportunities for brands.”
BuzzMob is a mobile platform that lets people join real-time, social communities called ‘Rings’ at customizable locations, connecting them to chat, share tips and photos, and receive curated, exclusive rich media content pertaining to their shared location and event. Any user can create a ring that defines a geographic space, which might include a stadium, restaurant, or neighborhood. As a social and events engagement tool, BuzzMob presents an opportunity for people, places, and brands to build authentic, hyper-local connections in real-time.
“MWW Group’s national network of offices and established relationships with relevant media and potential partners will be an incredible asset to us as we continue to grow through location and brand partnerships and as we seek to attract additional investment capital,” said Jeff Jackel, BuzzMob’s CEO. “MWW Ventures is proof that MWW shares our entrepreneurial drive.”
The BuzzMob account will operate just like any other client account, co-led out of MWW Group’s New York and Los Angeles offices.
About MWW Ventures
MWW Ventures is the strategic venture and investment arm of MWW Group, one of the largest independent global agencies. MWW Ventures invests and incubates startups that advance the media, marketing and public relations industries by delivering technologies, products and services for high-impact, high-ROI communications programs. MWW Ventures is a partnership of the senior management of MWW Group.
About MWW Group
MWW Group is one of the nation’s top mid-sized public relations firms and one of the ten largest independent global agencies. The company is industry-recognized for its work in consumer lifestyle marketing, digital marketing and social media, corporate communications, public affairs and government relations, consumer technology, healthcare and visual branding.
Through its “Network PR” approach, MWW Group helps its clients re-architect the conversation surrounding their brands to increase trust and relevance and drive action among key stakeholders. Among its numerous awards for client work, the agency has been recognized as 2011 “Midsize Agency of the Year” and 2010 “Strategic PR Agency of the Year” by the Holmes Report and has received accolades from PR News for “Team of the Year,” “Digital Firm of the Year” and “Top Places to Work in PR.”
To learn more about MWW Group, visit www.mww.com , Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
BuzzMob is a location-based mobile platform that brings social media communication to real-world places and events. Using GPS-enabled smartphones, BuzzMobbers within the same vicinity are instantly connected to talk, share tips, photos, media and receive exclusive content from within a private digital network. With customized features for a range of functions, from shopping centers to campuses to arenas to neighborhoods, BuzzMob is an opportunity for people, places and brands to build authentic, hyper-local connections in real-time. BuzzMob’s social live engagement tool is changing what it means to experience and interact with the everyday world. BuzzMob is currently available on iOS and web, launching soon on Android, and developing an iPad version.