Sunday, October 4, 2015

Google deal would boost Penn grads' firm, Philly investors

Ad exchange portal Invite Media gets Google's attention

Google deal would boost Penn grads' firm, Philly investors


Four guys who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania just two years ago became their own case studies Wednesday, on word they had sold their upstart firm, Invite Media, to Google.

Invite runs the Bid Manager online advertising management service from offices in Manhattan and Rittenhouse Square.
Online tech writer Peter Kafka posted the deal's outline from the Wall St Journal's annual All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where he'd been talking to Google executives. Kafka estimated the deal price at $70 million. The buzz of a sale showed up on other tech-centric sites as well.

Who's Invite Media? Founders are led by chief executive Nat Turner and president Zach Weinberg, who studied economics and started an online restaurant delivery service at Penn's Wharton School. Cofounder Michael Provenzano studied materials science and nanotechnology at Penn's engineering school and ran track; cofounder Scott Becker studied computational biology.

Turner summer-interned after his freshman year at First Round Capital, a West Conshohocken-based investment firm whose partners include Josh Kopelman. Kopelman has been a new-company godfather since he and his investors sold to eBay in 2000 for $350 million.

Kopelman's fund invested in Turner's firm. Now First Round Capital is among the Invite investors who would be enriched by its sale, along with Comcast Corp.'s investment unit and investor Gil Beyda's Comcast-allied Genacast Ventures, among others.  More here and here.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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