SOURCE: Travel Ad Network

April 21, 2008 08:30 ET

Travel Ad Network Closes Series A Institutional Round of Financing

Proceeds to Fuel Continued Growth of Vertical Ad Network; Rho Ventures Leads Round

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - Travel Ad Network (TAN), the leading and largest vertical ad network in travel, announced today that it has closed a Series A round of financing. The $15 million round was led by Rho Ventures, Village Ventures and individual investors.

The minority investment enables TAN to leverage its success as a vertical ad network targeting travel advertising dollars and marketers seeking upscale consumers. Delivering 12.5 million monthly unique visitors, TAN has become a trusted partner for advertisers wishing to target travel decision makers and is ranked third by comScore in the overall travel category (which includes transaction sites) and first in travel content.

"We've emerged as the market leader by combining the strength of our publishers, the dedication of our employees and the backing of Internet travel entrepreneur, Michael Thomas. Our new growth capital strengthens our solid position in the marketplace and provides funding for expansion into new products and new markets," says Cree Lawson, TAN Founder and CEO. "Rho Ventures, Village Ventures and our other investors bring to our Boardroom world class expertise in such disciplines as branded media, network development, behavioral targeting and online advertising as witnessed by their successful investments in iVillage, TACODA, Waterfront Media, ReachLocal and a host of other very successful companies."

Habib Kairouz, Managing Partner at Rho Ventures, will join TAN's Board of Directors. Also joining the TAN Board is Rho Ventures Partner Doug McCormick, former CEO of Lifetime Networks and Chairman and CEO of iVillage Inc., and Benjamin Wolin, the co-founder and CEO of Waterfront Media, the largest privately held online health company. TAN's other Board members include TAN Founder and CEO Cree Lawson; Chairman Michael H. Thomas, online travel entrepreneur and investor since 1996; and COO Brian Silver, an online advertising veteran with experience at Didit Search Marketing, IAC Advertising Solutions, AskJeeves, iWon and MaxOnline.

"Cree has done a fantastic job of providing marketers with one of the most effective advertising properties available to the travel industry. His knowledge of all aspects of the travel marketplace coupled with his dedication to TAN's impressive list of customers are key components of the company's success," says Mr. Kairouz.

Mr. Lawson added, "This has been a year of extraordinary growth and achievement for TAN. We surpassed Yahoo Travel generating the largest travel information audience online. We launched our first video advertising campaign and expanded our business to Canada and the UK. Our consistent policy of exclusive representation of the sites we represent is a classic 'win, win' for our customers and our publishers. Our focus on quality continues to serve us well, making us leaders in our field."

"TAN has built a very solid base with high quality sites and an exceptional staff focused on customer service which has attracted a top flight group of advertisers," says Bo Peabody, co-founder and Managing General Partner of Village Ventures and who, in 1992, founded Tripod, Inc., one of the original social networks. "We know that our investment in TAN will bring us a significant return."

Savvian Advisors, LLC, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Travel Ad Network for this transaction.

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.

Village Ventures (www.villageventures.com) is an early stage venture firm with $150 million under management as well as services and knowledge sharing platform serving a network of dozens of other venture funds with over $1 billion under management.

Waterfront Media (www.waterfrontmedia.com) is the largest privately held online health company and operates Everyday Health. Founded in 2002 by Ben Wolin and Mike Keriakos, Waterfront Media is funded by Rho Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Foundation Capital, Neocarta Ventures, BEV Capital, and Village Ventures.

Travel Ad Network (TAN) (www.traveladnetwork.com) is the leading advertising network in the online travel vertical reaching 12.5 million unique users through top tier website publishers, including BBC's Lonely Planet, Rand McNally and 50 other travel websites. TAN uses industry expertise, geographic targeting and exclusive publisher relationships to give marketers unrivaled access to an untapped audience of affluent, passionate and engaged travelers visiting both travel planning and booking engine sites. Founded in 2003, the company is privately held and is headquartered in Manhattan, New York City with branch offices in the West, Midwest & Southeast, Canada and the UK.

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