Vivaki Ventures Is Done Chasing Equity Deals with Startups

  |  January 25, 2010   |  Comments

In wake of Tim Hanlon's departure, Publicis unit shifts focus from startup consulting to tech integration.

A Publicis Groupe unit that traded consulting services for an equity stake in advertising start-ups has moved away from that model.

The division, Vivaki Ventures, is no longer pursuing equity arrangements with early-phase companies. Instead it's focused on integrating its existing portfolio companies with Vivaki's tools and operations. Those companies include social media marketing firm Buddy Media, Adap.tv, Aggregate Knowledge, and Tumri, among others.

Vivaki Ventures has also appointed a new director, Sean Kegelman, in the wake of previous director Tim Hanlon's departure in October. The role is an add-on to Kegelman's existing job as head of partnerships and corporate development for Vivaki.

Vivaki Ventures has no dedicated staff, and Kegelman's existing team -- along with Publicis's legal and financial departments -- will manage operations.

The changes cap an uncertain year for Vivaki Ventures, which was first established under sister unit Denuo, an elite consulting arm created in 2006. The idea was that Denuo would identify and court new ad technology firms such as GoldSpot Media and ViTrue -- two of its early vehicles. It would provide these companies with advisory services in exchange for a stake of the business and, sometimes, "first mover rights" for clients.

Tim Hanlon provided the secret sauce for the ventures practice at Denuo, keeping tabs on early-phase technology and media companies and tapping into them for Publicis. He would also make introductions between these firms and Denuo's in-house experts, Kegelman said.

The unit was later transferred to Vivaki Nerve Center, along with Hanlon.

With the transition its mission has changed from providing advisory services to its portfolio companies to helping those firms integrate their products with Vivaki's Nerve Center operations.

Kegelman said the priority shift for Vivaki Ventures came down to "a question of focus."

"We want to make sure the portfolio has good strategic alignment with the product and platform focuses of the Nerve Center," said Kegelman. "It's going to be about how do these companies connect, so we can focus more on product interfaces than people interfaces."

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Resources

Jobs

    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...
    • Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager
      Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager (Smarty Had A Party) - St. LouisCompany Description: A warm, loving, [slightly wacky] startup, we view...