SOURCE: NetShelter Technology Media

December 15, 2008 08:15 ET

NetShelter Technology Media Closes $11.1 Million Series A Round of Financing With Rho Canada, GrowthWorks Canadian Fund and JLA Ventures

NetShelter Evolves Model to Internet Era Tech Media Company; Announces New York and San Francisco Offices

TORONTO--(Marketwire - December 15, 2008) - NetShelter Technology Media, which pioneered the concept of the vertical media network, and which recently passed long-time segment leader CNET to rank number one on the list of comScore's Technology News Web Properties, today announced that it has closed an $11.1 million Series A round of financing from Rho Canada, GrowthWorks™ Canadian Fund and JLA Ventures. Proceeds of the minority investment will be used to accelerate company's Open Media model that helps brand marketers engage with core consumer and B2B tech buyers worldwide.

NetShelter Technology Media brings together a publisher network of over 150 tech content sites alongside owned-and-operated programs to offer marketers a highly integrated, customizable platform to directly engage with affluent and passionate tech audiences. The media start up, which has been profitable since inception in 1999, had only needed $1.5 million in seed funding to assemble the largest technology audience in the US (versus hundreds of millions of dollars estimated to have been spent by legacy tech media companies such as CNET and IDG). The company has recently opened offices in New York and San Francisco.

"NetShelter Technology Media has experienced 900% growth in audience size in the past 2 years to become number one for reaching tech audiences online," says Peyman Nilforoush, NetShelter's CEO and Co-Founder. "The efficiency and profitability of our Open Media model has enabled us to beat all established traditional tech media companies including CNET, IDG, Ziff Davis and CMP with very limited resources and outside funding. Our ability to attract three of the county's top venture funds in an economic downturn highlights the size of the opportunity the management and our investors see ahead for the company. We are very pleased and excited about our new investor partners."

"What NetShelter has accomplished since launching its branded network just two years ago is nothing short of spectacular," says Jeff Grammer, Partner in Rho Canada. "They have helped advertisers solve the tech audience fragmentation problem by aggregating niche sites which attract highly passionate buyers. They can provide the web's largest audiences of tech buyers of everything from mobile devices to cameras, to games to high end enterprise-level systems. Peyman, Pirouz and their team have a brilliant future."

"NetShelter has disrupted the technology media landscape with its innovative, open business model and has quickly established itself as a leader in the industry," says Tim Lee, SVP Investments, GrowthWorks. "We are pleased to be joining with strong funding partners like Rho Canada and JLA Ventures and we are looking forward to helping NetShelter continue their impressive growth."

"JLA Ventures is very pleased to be part of this financing," says Rick Segal, Partner at JLA Ventures. "NetShelter's transformation towards the model of an online-era media company is well on its way as they help tech marketers manage the tech purchasing cycle and gives them BACK control to over what's being said about their brand or products or services."

In conjunction with the investment, Jeff Grammer, Partner at Rho Canada, Roger Chabra, Investment Manager at GrowthWorks Capital and Rick Segal, Partner at JLA Ventures have joined NetShelter's board of directors.

NetShelter Technology Media which reaches 9.3 percent of the total U.S. online audience and 17.7 million unique visitors a month according to comScore, has experienced more than a 900% growth in traffic -- growth matched only by social media networks such as Facebook and YouTube -- since the launch of its branded network in May 2006. The company has doubled its revenue every year since the inception of its branded network in 2006. This has been a year of extraordinary growth for the company with record revenue growth as it has entered comScore Top 100 in September, surpassed established traditional media companies such as CNET, IDG and Ziff Davis in size of audience and completed a number of key executive hire. The company also launched a number of owned and operated programs starting with TopTechGifts.com and LastGadgetStanding.com and formally launched its Open Media Platform enabling marketers to integrate their brand and products in key communities and purchasing resources for passionate tech audiences.

"NetShelter Technology Media has fundamentally changed the way tech content is created, distributed and monetized," says Pirouz Nilforoush, NetShelter's President and Co-Founder. "We are the new model for technology publishing online, assembling and empowering the best and brightest voices in tech and integrating marketers into the overall experience through unique programs such as TopTechGifts.com and Last Gadget Standing. Thanks to the funding from our partners, you will see NetShelter redefine what it means to be a technology media company for the internet era."

Rho Canada (http://www.rho.com/venture_capital/canada/canada_main.html) based in Montreal, is dedicated to backing leading, early-stage technology-based companies in Canada. Formed in 2006, Rho Canada is affiliated with Rho Ventures in the US and leverages off Rho Ventures' 25+ years of experience in investing in venture-stage companies. The Rho Canada team is led by Jeff Grammer and Antoine Paquin, serial entrepreneurs who have previously successfully built, as CEO's, a number of venture-backed companies, both in the US and Canada. Since 1981 Rho Ventures (http://www.rho.com) has been investing in leading edge, high growth companies that redefine the status quo. The firm has a deep history of supporting companies at multiple stages of growth spanning early stage investments to later stage expansion and growth equity transactions. Rho Ventures has financed approximately 200 companies and has invested in market leaders across many high growth sectors including information technology, communications, new media, healthcare and energy technology. Rho has over $2 billion under management.

GrowthWorks™ (www.growthworks.ca) GrowthWorks managed funds provide investment capital for Canadian companies and tax-advantaged investment opportunities for Canadian investors. GrowthWorks, Canada's leader in venture capital investing, manages approximately $800 million in assets through the Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd., GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund Ltd., GrowthWorks Commercialization Fund Ltd. and GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd. GrowthWorks identifies, analyzes and structures investments in companies with high growth potential. Particular emphasis is placed on IT, Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing sectors.

GrowthWorks refers to affiliates of GrowthWorks Ltd. and includes: GrowthWorks Capital Ltd, manager of the Working Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd.; GrowthWorks WV Management Ltd., manager of GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd. and GrowthWorks Commercialization Fund Ltd.; and GrowthWorks Atlantic Ltd., manager of GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund Ltd. GrowthWorks is a registered trademark of GrowthWorks Capital Ltd.

JLA Ventures (http://www.jlaventures.com) a private venture capital firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal is a leading investor in technology companies at all stages of growth. JLA Ventures' past and current portfolio companies include: Triple G Systems (acquired by General Electric), Pixstream (acquired by Cisco), Basis100 (acquired by First American Corporation), Fun Technologies (acquired by Liberty Media Corporation), Servicesoft Technologies (acquired by Broadbase), Isolation Systems (acquired by Shiva), Descartes Systems Group, Bioscrypt Q9 Networks VFM, Quickplay Media, MusicIP, HealthUnity, Planeteye, Nstein, ZipLocal, b5media and First Coverage Inc.

Launched in 1999 as NetShelter, Inc., NetShelter Technology Media (www.netshelter.net) first pioneered the concept of the vertical media network assembling the largest technology-oriented audiences in the world via the NetShelter Branded Network (NSBN) in May 2006 and helping leading interactive advertising agencies and marketers engage with their core target audience of technology, IT buyers and influencers. NetShelter Technology Media is ranked number 1 in reaching technology audiences online in U.S according to comScore and reaches 50 million unique visitors worldwide. In a fragmented online media landscape NetShelter Technology Media is the new platform for technology publishing online. It partners with the top independent voices in the technology industry and helps them grow their media business. NetShelter's goal is to become the leading global media company for the technology sector.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    George Simpson
    George H. Simpson Communications
    203.521.0352
    Email Contact