IRVINE, Calif., May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT), the company reinventing celebrity endorsement and consumer engagement, has closed a $7.5 million Series D round led by Matthew Pritzker Company, with existing investors Miramar Venture Partners, Newport Coast Investments, RimLight, LLC, Fulcrum Venture Capital, and ad pepper media International also participating. This new round of capital brings total funding to over $34 million.
The funding comes as BAT surpassed $44 million in 2011 gross billings, a 70% year-over-year increase, by significantly growing its celebrity endorsement and clearance business, and further developing its revolutionary Fantapper platform.
With over 4,000 signed athletes and celebrities, including a broad partnership with the MLB Players Association, BAT's celebrity endorsement and clearance platform provides a one-stop endorsement and media clearance solution for marketers and advertisers. Market-leading brand advertisers and agency clients include MLB Players Association, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sony Entertainment, USAA, Tostitos, Pine-Sol, Digitas, AKQA, and CBS Outdoor.
BAT launched Fantapper in November 2010, significantly enhancing the web browsing experience for millions of consumers by providing real-time, intuitive access to information about celebrities and athletes via proprietary apps and live Twitter and Facebook feeds, among others.
Today, BAT released Fantapper 2.0, which empowers its nearly 5 million monthly unique users with the ability to actively collect, curate, and share both web content and life experiences, encompassing photos, videos, articles and files. Curated channels can be made public or kept private, accessible only to those invited to view and/or contribute. All channels, and associated content and files are accessible everywhere, via a robust cloud solution. Stars such as Drew Brees, Ashlee Simpson, Rajon Rondo, and Jim Rome engage more deeply with fans via promotions and open contributor Channels on fantapper.com. Everyone is now empowered to crowd-curate on any event or interest, whether it's a football game, concert, or family reunion or categories, such as food, fashion, cars, and much more.
"I am very excited about the adoption of Fantapper, and our continued growth in the celebrity endorsement and clearance business lines. This financing provides the growth capital required to continue to expand and grow the Fantapper service, while driving sales growth within our celebrity endorsement and clearance business," says Ryan Steelberg, CEO. "This next generation of Fantapper builds upon our innovative browsing-enhancement technology, to now enable our users to collect and personalize such web content, and seamlessly curate and publish into channels."
About Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT)
Founded in 2007, Brand Affinity Technologies, Inc. is a leading technology and services provider that enables celebrities and advertisers to unlock the marketing power of celebrity through unique endorsement platforms, interactive experiences and comprehensive research and enables fans to discover, collect, and share celebrity and digital content. BAT's patented Endorsement Platform provides the ability to identify, license, and activate talent for cross-media advertising campaigns. Used by prominent brands, including AT&T, Comcast, Ford, Samsung and Sony, BAT has agreements with more than 4,000 marquee athletes and celebrities. BAT's consumer oriented interactive digital solution, Fantapper (Fantapper.com), currently reaches close to 5 million fans per month and features exclusive content from many stars, including Nick Cannon, Peter Facinelli, Ashlee Simpson, Drew Brees, Rajon Rondo, as well as consumer generated and curated content.
BAT was created by Ryan and Chad Steelberg, who together founded and operated three successful companies prior to BAT: dMarc (sold to Google in 2006), AdForce (sold to CMGi in 1999), and 2CAN Media (also sold to CMGi in 1999). Since 1996, the Steelbergs have raised more than $180 million in equity financing, managed more than 400 employees and created in excess of $3.0 billion in shareholder value through their previous ventures.
About Matthew Pritzker Company
Matthew Pritzker Company, LLC is the principal financial and investment office of Matthew Pritzker. The company makes direct equity and debt investments and oversees a portfolio that includes innovative, early and growth-stage companies in technology, retail and media, as well as real estate and other sectors. For more information, please visit www.matthewpritzkercompany.com.
SOURCE Brand Affinity Technologies