NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pereg Ventures, an entrepreneur-led venture capital firm, today launched its operations and announced plans to invest in early stage, high-growth, transformational technologies that help companies understand and market to their customers, including market intelligence innovations, advertising solutions, management tools, and related mobile and online enablers. Concentrating on the two most prolific tech start-up economies, Pereg Ventures will predominantly focus on the U.S. market while also providing a bridge to Israeli innovators poised to enter the U.S. economy.
Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, is the anchor investor for Pereg Ventures. "Our investment and interest in Pereg Ventures is a natural next step in Nielsen's innovation continuum," said David Calhoun, CEO, Nielsen.
"We have the best of both worlds with a minority investment from Nielsen that enables us to draw on its unique insights and resources, yet Pereg Ventures will be fully independent in pursuing the right outcomes for our portfolio companies and broader investment community," said Claudia Iannazzo, CEO and partner, Pereg Ventures.
Pereg Ventures' close collaboration with Nielsen will be enhanced by the involvement of Itzhak Fisher, executive vice president, Global Business Development for Nielsen, who will also lead the venture firm. "As chairman and partner of Pereg Ventures, I am pleased to support its mission of identifying entrepreneurs and technologies that will transform the way the world markets," said Fisher. "Dramatic changes to consumer behaviors are fueling demand for innovations as advertisers, agencies and analysts seek meaningful ways to understand and engage with consumers across multiple, and increasingly digital, platforms," Fisher said.
"The sector Pereg Ventures serves is growing rapidly in response to dramatic changes in media, advertising and consumer behaviors. Advertisers are seeking smarter ways of deploying their $500 billion global advertising spend1, while consumers are shifting the way they engage with media and have more choice than ever before. In direct response to feedback from entrepreneurs across the sector, we are filling a void in the early-stage funding cycle before significant expansion capital is required but after ventures have already attracted their initial seed investment," said Iannazzo.
Pereg Ventures is dedicated to providing marketing innovators access to a unique ecosystem of business builders, entrepreneurs and industry specialists who have tangible experience creating successful companies. Nielsen's investment commitment is conditioned on the fund obtaining total investment commitments of not less than $25 million, which is planned for the first half of 2013.
About the Pereg Ventures Team
Itzhak Fisher will serve as chairman and partner of Pereg Ventures. As executive vice president of Global Business Development for Nielsen, Fisher leverages three decades of mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings and has responsibility for strategic business development initiatives and mergers and acquisitions that enhance Nielsen's capabilities and address clients' priorities.
Prior to joining Nielsen, Fisher executed multiple start-up-to sale successes. He was co-founder and chairman of Trendum, a leader in Internet search and linguistic analysis technologies. In 2005, he led Trendum's acquisition of BuzzMetrics, a market leader in online word-of-mouth research, and negotiated its 2006 acquisition of Intelliseek. Fisher served as chairman of the combined entity, BuzzMetrics, which was subsequently acquired by Nielsen. Previously, he founded and served as president and CEO of RSL Communications, a telecommunications firm with operations in 22 countries across four continents with more than $1.5 billion in revenues, and raised over $1.2 billion in capital. Fisher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the New York Institute of Technology, and pursued advanced studies in computer science at New York University.
Claudia Iannazzo, Pereg Ventures CEO and partner, has facilitated more than $10 billion of acquisitions, divestments, IPOs, alliances and partnerships for public companies and new ventures around the globe. She has led strategic alliancing, acquisition and turnaround activities for two Australian advertising giants, Tabcorp Holdings (Australia's largest gaming, entertainment and hospitality company) and Foster's Group (Australia's leading brewer and winemaker), and headed commercial functions within multinational technology companies Infosys Technologies and BAE Systems.
Most recently, Iannazzo utilized her corporate development expertise to help forge commercial arrangements between startups and multinationals. Focusing on entrepreneurs in North America, Asia and Australia, she supported the creation of effective sales, marketing and business strategies to attract investment or acquisition. Iannazzo continues to advise publicly listed and private-equity backed companies in acquiring start-ups and technology-rich businesses, and in establishing commercial alliances.
Iannazzo was formerly a mergers and acquisitions attorney with Baker & McKenzie and holds a Masters in Applied Finance from Macquarie University (Sydney).
About Pereg Ventures
Pereg Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on identifying entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas that will transform the way the world markets. Headquartered in New York, Pereg Ventures invests in ventures that solve real-world marketing problems, including market intelligence technologies, spend management tools, advertising solutions, and online and mobile enablers. For more information, visit www.peregventures.com.
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related assets. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, The Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.
1 Source: Nielsen, Global AdView Pulselite Report, Quarter 4 2011
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