Vitrue Inc., an Atlanta-based video-centric social media company, has acquired UGENmedia, a New York-based social media marketer. No financial terms were disclosed. Vitrue has raised $15.2 million in VC funding from Comcast Interactive Capital, Dace Ventures General Catalyst Partners and Turner Broadcasting.
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“This partnership enhances our ability to deliver to brands the most effective and compelling ways to engage their consumers,” said Reggie Bradford, chief executive officer, Vitrue. “We are in the business of helping brands leverage the great frontier of social media. This partnership provides Vitrue with an additional dimension through UGENmedia's expertise and cutting-edge applications.”
Founded in 2006 by former DoubleClick executives, UGENmedia provides a comprehensive approach in helping develop, deploy and distribute social media marketing programs. UGENmedia works with leading brands and advertising agencies to create engaging user experiences that not only drive traffic to a brand's destination site, but can also be distributed as applications on popular social networking sites. The applications live and function where consumers naturally gravitate, allowing them to be entertained and engaged by brands on their own time and their own terms. These branded applications on MySpace(TM) and Facebook(TM) are the beginnings of monetizing social media as the key enabler between brands and social networks.
“We have rapidly grown our client portfolio with consistent successes in social media marketing solutions that are customized, measureable, and strategically integrated into a brand's overall online marketing plan,” said Adam Benjamin, co-founder and chief executive officer, UGENmedia. “Partnering with Vitrue enables us to deliver a deeper and more holistic service offering to our clients, leveraging the strength of an industry leading marketing platform, rapid deployment capabilities and world class account services.”
Social media is leading the shift in the way consumers experience brands. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, 78 percent of consumers trust the opinion of peers over all other information sources and advertising. Vitrue and UGENmedia provide a global platform that connects social media sites with brands and agencies to tap into the power of crowds to create authentic content and measurable experiences.
Both Vitrue and UGENmedia are backed by industry experienced leaders. CEO Reggie Bradford has 18 years of industry and operations leadership experience, including his former role as CEO of N2 Broadband, and president of TANDBERG Television and former CMO of WebMD. UGENmedia CEO and co-founder Adam Benjamin, along with President and co-founder Roger Jehenson, have held executive level positions at DoubleClick, Right Media and PointRoll, and have extensive knowledge in building scalable online marketing applications and service organizations. Both Benjamin and Jehenson will join Vitrue in executive roles and all UGENmedia employees will be retained.
Vitrue, founded in 2006 with more than $15 million of funding from firms including General Catalyst Partners, Dace Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital and Turner Broadcasting, will retain its headquarters in Atlanta and UGENmedia's operations in New York.