Deal Watch: Making a splash with interactive ads


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THEY’RE THE DEMOGRAPHIC that makes advertisers drool: the 13- to 29-year-old online audience. Right now they’re spending most of their online time on social networking websites like MySpace or Facebook — not on traditional websites.

 

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THEY’RE THE DEMOGRAPHIC that makes advertisers drool: the 13- to 29-year-old online audience. Right now they’re spending most of their online time on social networking websites like MySpace or Facebook — not on traditional websites. Too bad for advertisers, since usual methods like banner ads aren’t very hot in that environment.

Last year SplashCast launched its solution: socially interactive ads. So far it’s a hit. Its clients range from Sony/BMG and National Public Radio to MTV and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

“We don’t ask audiences to change their habits and go to a destination site like ESPN. That’s not how they spend their time anymore,” says company founder and CEO Michael Berkley.

In March, 14-month-old SplashCast announced it had raised $2.7 million to complete a $4 million funding round led by Mark Bayliss, an investor and senior executive for one of Australia’s largest media companies, Fairfax Holdings. Bayliss now sits on the company board; he was brought in by board member and former Nike exec Charlie Baker.

Think of SplashCast as an interactive television channel where viewers also play games or shop or listen to songs, and advertisers change content when needed. But here’s the moneymaker: Viewers can send any video to their friends so they can put them on their own MySpace or Facebook page. That’s how the advertising is spread, via social networks. Ads aren’t just watched, they’re played with. And they’re played with because they come from friends, says Berkley.

Is it working? The company says those videos are viewed 1.3 million times each day. Every month 8.5 million individual users interact with the videos.

Berkley has two main goals for the funding, much of which came from angel investors in the Pacific Northwest: grow the company from its current eight employees to around 20, and create an aggressive marketing plan.           

ABRAHAM HYATT

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
ANNOUNCEDEXP. CLOSEBUYER / PARENT (HQ)SELLER (HQ) / PARENTPRICE (TERMS)
13-MarQ2 ‘08AVI BioPharma (Portland)Ercole Biotech (NC)$8.9M (stock + assumed debt)
24-MarNDL-1 Identity Solutions (CT)ID Systems business/Digimarc (Beaverton)$250M (cash + stock)
24-MarQ2 ‘08Crisp (UK)IMSafer (Beaverton)ND
26-MarQ1 ‘08Rim Semiconductor (Portland)Multi-Carrier Communications/ Utek (FL)ND
31-MarQ2 ‘08Bullivant Houser Bailey PC (Portland)Jacobs & Ferraro (CA)ND
31-MarQ2 ‘08Greenbrier Companies (Lake Oswego)American Allied Railway Equipment Company (IL)$83M (cash)
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
ANNOUNCEDBUYER / PARENT (HQ)REAL ESTATE (LOCATION) / SELLER (HQ)PRICE
11-MarPacific Northwest College of ArtFederal Building (Portland) / U.S. GovernmentND
11-MarUrban Renaissance Group; Great Point InvestorsMorgan Building (Portland) / RREEF; LA County Employees Retirement Association$27.55M
19-MarKBS Realty AdvisorsEvergreen Park industrial campus (Hillsboro) / UBS Realty Investors$16.15M
19-MarMaple PropertiesBerry Hill Shopping Center (Oregon City) / R&B Kiggins$8.6M
24-MarNBS Real Estate Capital (Portland); Su Casa Properties (CA)apartment complex (UT) / ND$4.88M
24-MarMCGDindustrial building (Clackamas) / Indal Corporation$1.92M
24-MarPM Industriesindustrial property (Beaverton) / Tri County Warehouse$3.2M
24-MarSchonert Propertiesindustrial land (Clackamas) / Clackamas Commons III$1.77M
26-MarUnico PropertiesRivercrest Meadows Apts. (Tualatin) / Simpson Housing$38.7M
31-MarJB Matteson (CA)Harrison Tower Apartments (Portland) / Portland Center Investors$45M
31-MarIntegrita E Perseveranzaindustrial building (Beaverton) / Tri-County Moving and Storage$3.2M
31-MarCommerce InvestmentKing Tower Apartments (Portland) / Harsch Investment Properties$26M
31-MarPringle ConstructionDurham Park Apartments (Tigard) / 6 investment groups$24.8M
CAPITAL RAISING
ANNOUNCEDCOMPANY (HQ) / LEADERSHIPINVESTOR (HQ)PRICE (TERMS)
11-MarPulse Health (Portland) / Chris Marsh, CEOUndisclosed angel investors (CA, WA, OR)$2.15M (Series A)
13-MarNike (Beaverton) / Mark Parker, president and CEOUndisclosed Investor (MO)$50M (debt)
14-MarDavenport Power (Bend & CT) / Hiram A. Bingham, chairman & CEOUS Renewables Group; Riverstone Holdings (NY)ND
19-MarOregon State University (Corvallis) / Dr. Edward Ray, presidentanonymous donor$5M (gift)
20-MarSplashCast (Portland) / Michael Berkley, CEO and founderEmergent (Portland); Mark Bayliss (Australia)$2.7M (Series A)
20-MarGenesis Financial Solutions (Portland) / Irving Levin, CEOThe Edgewater FundsND (equity)
27-MarIovation (Portland) / Greg Pierson, CEOSAP Ventures and European Founders Fund$5M (Series A)

List researched by Mark Druskoff

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