RealTime IT News

Real Media Secures $30 Million in Financing

Ad serving company Real Media secured $30 million in financing from existing investor Advance Internet, a community Web site designer, and its largest stockholder, Swiss on- and offline ad sales company PubliGroupe, offsetting the company's dwindling cash reserves.

According to a statement from company officials, Real Media will use the proceeds to advance its infrastructure development, to extend its marketing and client service reach and to fund national and international expansion.

"We are pleased to have the continued support of two highly respected media and advertising companies," said Real Media chief financial officer Norman Blashka.

"This funding allows us to remain focused on our business plan and provides us with the ability to continue our rapid growth."

But Real Media, which filed in February to go public with the aim of raising $71 million, has recorded mounting expenditures, despite increasing revenue. By January, the company had spent about $13 million of the $14.5 million it had received from investors since its inception in 1996, according to SEC filings.

A pricing date has not yet been announced. The stock is expected to be priced between $9 and $11 on the NASDAQ exchange, under the symbol RLMD. Given the current stock market conditions, Real Media is not the only company to be holding off on its IPO, perhaps because it doesn't think it could sell shares at its desired price.

In other company news, Real Media acquired Stockholm, Sweden-based online ad company Internetsäljarna AB. Clients of the company include European portal Everyday.com and Swedish business publications Dagens Industri, Fondstar and Privata Affärer.

The plan to integrate the two companies includes combining the staff and resources of Internetsäljarna with those of the existing Real Media office in Stockholm. The resulting office will be named Real Media Sweden.

"This acquisition reinforces our commitment to become an industry leader in Sweden, the fourth-largest Internet ad market in Europe," said Real Media chief executive officer Chris Neimeth.

"Internetsäljarna is the leading brand-focused ad sales company in Sweden, with a strong position and a great track record; a valuable addition to Real Media," he added.

"Since its inception, Internetsäljarna's mission has been to bring the brightest, most innovative Internet advertising solutions to the companies it represents," said Internetsäljarna founder Hans Fjärem.

"By joining forces with Real Media we are able to extend our reach through one of the pioneers of global Internet advertising -- creating new opportunities for advertisers and media-owners alike. We believe that the merged organizations will build upon the achievements this far to deliver a truly outstanding service to an increasing number of clients."