Deals round-up: VENTURE CAPITAL – Flatfox maps out future with Atlas

Atlas Venture in May invested DM5 million (EURO2.6 million) in the German permission marketing specialist Flatfox. Founded by former McKinsey consultants Frank Strzyzewski and Dr Ricco Deutscher, Flatfox is pioneering online permission marketing in Europe, using opt-in e-mails as its main delivery vehicle.

Traditional’ forms on online marketing are becoming increasingly inefficient as growing familiarity with banners breeds the inevitable contempt (banners currently receive a response rate of less than 1 per cent). Meanwhile, unsolicited e-mail campaigns, where not actually illegal, as in Germany, are often felt by recipients to be highly offensive. The opt-in’ approach, which is already proven in the US, circumvents these problems and enables online businesses to access highly interested target groups.

Flatfox, which initially will offer online personal and group calendaring services as well as comprehensive event database, plans to launch the first phase of its service at the end of June.

The Atlas capital injection, which has been matched by DM5 million from Tbg, will support Flatfox’s plans for rapid pan-European expansion.