PowerAdz Merges With AdQuest

PowerAdz.com and AdQuest said that they merged, creating what they called “the largest provider of Internet classified services to regional newspapers in North America.”

In addition, the merged company, to be known as PowerAdz.com, said it secured equity financing of more than $4.5 million. PowerAdz.com headquarters will remain at the Rensselaer Technology Park in Troy, NY, and the company said it plans to add 30 positions by the end of the year.

“AdQuest has been our strategic sales partner for the last year,” said Kurt Lozier, vice president of PowerAdz.com. “The success of that relationship and the synergy between our two businesses made this a natural progression.” Lamonte Rhoades, manager of AdQuest, will assume the role of vice president of sales and channel alliances at PowerAdz.com.

PowerAdz.com is known for its flagship product, CarCast AutoMarketplace, an Internet-based auto locating and buying service for consumers, featuring local auto dealers and co-branded content managed by local newspapers.

Wisconsin-based AdQuest electronically aggregates classified advertisements from newspapers across the country, making them available on each paper’s locally branded Web site, and at adquest.com.

The company recently signed its 600th newspaper to a client list that includes the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, the American Newspaper Group, the Liberty Newspaper Group and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PowerAdz.com said it will continue to market the AdQuest classifieds product under the AdQuest brand.

AdQuest has been an operating unit of Journal Communications Inc. since 1995, and with this transaction, Journal Communications is the largest single shareholder in the merged company. Paul M. Bonaiuto, executive vice president and CFO of Journal Communications will have a seat on the board of directors. Robert Godgart of PowerAdz will continue as chairman. Mark Chudzicki will continue as president and CEO.

The PowerAdz equity financing was led by First Albany Enterprise Funding and Advantage Capital led the financing. The funding round also included participation from Journal Communications, Exponential Business Development, the New York State Science and Technology Foundation and over $1 million from private investors led by J. Markham Green, a limited partner in Goldman, Sachs & Co.

PowerAdz.com said it plans to use the new funding to expand its sales and marketing initiatives and to develop, partner with or acquire technologies necessary for its newspaper customers to compete with national Internet brands for local advertising dollars.

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