Larry Weber, former head of Interpublic's Advanced Marketing Services Group, to build out W2 as the first Web 2.0-centric marketing holding company
Waltham, Mass., November 2, 2007 -– W2 Group, a next-generation marketing services ecosystem that helps CMOs in their new role as builders of communities, announced today that Monitor Clipper Partners, a Cambridge, MA-based private equity firm affiliated with the global consulting firm Monitor Group, has invested $30 million in W2 Group as part of a larger plan to grow W2 organically and through acquisition. These funds will make available the resources needed to develop the company into the dominant player in the multi-billion dollar next-generation Web 2.0 market.
Larry Weber, chairman and CEO of W2 Group, will lead the build out of W2 Group as it becomes the first marketing holding company completely focused on Web 2.0 services. Before founding W2 Group in 2004, Weber was the head of the Interpublic Group of Companies' Advanced Marketing Services Group, a multi-billion dollar, global unit comprised of leading interactive, public relations, branding, experiential marketing, entertainment marketing, and research agencies worldwide. Weber's second book, Marketing to the Social Web: How Digital Customer Communities Build Your Business, was published by John Wiley & Sons in June 2007.
W2 Group will initially access $30 million to strengthen and expand the capabilities of two of its existing companies: Digital Influence Group, a leader in social media marketing, and Racepoint Group, a global public relations agency with special expertise in digital media relations. Both Digital Influence Group and Racepoint Group work with a number of the fastest-growing and most innovative marketers including Genzyme, Sony, AMD, AOL/Third Screen Media, HP/Neoware, eHarmony, BBN/EveryZing, and One Laptop Per Child.
Over time, W2 Group will access additional funds to build out complementary marketing services in other areas including branded digital community building, social networking, traditional and digital media relations, content/Web 2.0 publishing, mobile, online research and analytics, and domain-specific services such as healthcare.
"Unlike the traditional marketing holding companies which are paid media centric and about size for size's sake, our vision for W2 Group continues to be digital at the core and about providing the best set of complementary and innovative solutions that help CMOs achieve a better ROI on their marketing investments," said Larry Weber, Chairman of W2 Group. "Since founding W2 in 2004, we've seen an increasing number of organizations divert a greater portion of their marketing budgets away from traditional TV and print advertising to social media marketing. I believe that we're now at the tipping point for an explosion in social media, and that W2 Group is perfectly positioned to be the magnet destination for CMOs to leverage the new social media landscape."
"We view our commitment to W2 Group as the beginning of a long-term relationship in which we are providing access to the capital required to develop W2 Group as the leader in next-generation marketing services – a market that we believe is a multi-billion dollar global opportunity," said Travis Metz, Managing Partner of Monitor Clipper Partners. "We have known Larry Weber for a number of years and believe that his vision and many years of experience in both building and acquiring companies is far and away the best in the business and ideally suited to turning the vision into a reality."
About W2 Group, Inc.
W2 Group is a global marketing services ecosystem that helps CMOs in their new role as builders of communities and content aggregators. W2 Group companies, including Digital Influence Group and Racepoint Group, are leaders in social media marketing in both paid and unpaid media.
About Monitor Clipper Partners
Monitor Clipper Partners is a private equity firm formed in 1998 to invest in middle market management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth equity financings. MCP partners with strong management teams that can benefit from MCP's privileged relationship with Monitor Group, one of the world's leading strategy consulting firms. MCP currently manages over $1.5 billion of capital and has invested over $1.3 billion in 26 transactions since making its first investment in February 1999.