Warburg Maps Out Media Investment

Operating under the assumption that public relations pros should know as much about the reporters they’re spinning as the subject of the spin itself, MediaMap recently completed its initial round of venture capital funding.

The company raised a total of $11.5 million though the transaction, which is broken up into two tranches. The primary piece is for $5.8 million and is immediately available to the issuer. The balance of the capital will be released to MediaMap in July assuming that the company meets certain performance expectations.

A substantial portion of the proceeds will be used to expand MediaMap’s Web-based product platform. Not only will this help the company build a subscriber list of public relations departments that desire information on particular journalists, but it is also intended to begin funding the development of reverse information flow to be used by members of the media.

Warburg, Pincus Equity Partners LP was the sole participant in the transaction. “The entire PR business is exploding right now, and this company will allow people… to better target who their information goes to,” said Patrick Hackett, managing director at Warburg Pincus.

He added that his firm would likely invest in MediaMap again, provided that the company continues to move in a positive direction. “We like to invest across all stages of a business so that we can see a company from the beginning all the way through full maturity,” Hackett said.

There is, however, no definitive word as to whether or not MediaMap will be back for another round in the private equity market. While a company spokeswoman hinted that a second, and larger, deal might be upcoming, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ken Goldman was not so certain. “There may or may not be a mezzanine round before a potential liquidity event,” he said.

Separately, Warburg Pincus announced last week that it had recently closed a pair of private placements with Latin American Internet firms Bodasynovias.com and Elephante.com. This news effectively doubled the number of investments in the fund’s Latin American Internet portfolio, which had previously only included StarMedia Network Inc. and Submarino.com.

Warburg Pincus acted as the sole investor on the $3 million Bodasynovias.com transaction. The issuer is a leading regional e-commerce and community Web site operator that specializes in weddings.

Although terms on the Elephante.com deal have not yet been announced, a source familiar with the Latin American market said that the final price tag was around $5 million. He added that Warburg Pincus is believed to have acted as lead investor. Elephante.com operates Brazil’s largest online calendar and reminder service.