CGtime Sells $7 Million Series A Financing

Catering to big-brand clientele that haven?t quite yet found a way to marry their marketing efforts with the Internet, CGtime Inc. announced this morning that it has closed its first round of venture capital financing at $7 million.

The San Francisco-based enterprise software play pairs with advertising agencies to help corporations with strong brick-and-mortar brand identities establish a rapport with consumers on the Web. Through games and other creative outlets, the company?s software attempts to match consumer preferences with the business goals of its clientele to broaden online brand recognition and help streamline Internet marketing campaigns.

“If you?re a consumer, why would you go to the Coke site?” asked Laurent Massa, CGtime?s newly-appointed president and chief executive. “What we do is create the purpose for people to go to the site, then engage them in various forms of marketing activities.”

Massa is the former president and CEO of Inc., which ultimately merged with NBC Internet to become NBCi.

New Enterprise Associates stepped up to the plate to lead CGtime?s Series A deal, with additional investments from the company?s senior management and Odyssey LP, a San Francisco-based research firm.

Mark Perry, a general partner with New Enterprise Associates, received a board seat as part of the financing.

Founded by Drs. Yoav Shoham and Moshe Tennenholtz, two former Stanford professors, CGtime currently has about 20 employees working to develop its software product, which is slated to hit the market in the fourth quarter.

The company is currently beta-testing that product with a group of undisclosed customers, although it hasn?t officially signed on any paying clients yet, Massa said.

To that end, CGtime plans to kick off a full-scale marketing campaign later this year, and a portion of the proceeds from it latest financing will go toward bolstering its sales and marketing staff. It plans to set up sales shops in New York and San Francisco within the next six months.

Massa said the company hasn?t rubbed elbows with any direct competitors in the marketplace yet. The closest it has come is a few one-off marketing engines developed by some of the same advertising agencies it hopes to work with down the road.

In order to keep growing at a fairly rapid pace, the company will likely revisit the private equity market before the end of the year, he said.

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