Digital First Invests In Digital Ad Co. OwnLocal

The partnership — the first for Digital First Ventures, the venture capital arm of Digital First Media — will roll out OwnLocal’s digital ad services across the Digital First Media network.

Digital First Ventures, the venture capital arm of Digital First Media, today announced an equity investment with the digital advertising startup OwnLocal.

“The partnership between Digital First Media and OwnLocal focuses on accelerating these proven advertising solutions to create value for our advertisers, our company and our partner,” John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media, said in a statement. “The value alignment between our companies — the transformative power of digital in the local marketplace — as well as the scale of the Digital First Media network will drive this growth.”

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OwnLocal, founded in 2010, provides white-label advertising platforms that power the local market’s print-to-digital conversion. The partnership — the first for Digital First Ventures — focuses on the growth and expansion of OwnLocal’s services across the Digital First Media network. OwnLocal provides Digital First Media with a small- and medium-sized advertising solution for local advertisers and complements the Company’s AdTaxi platform, which is designed for larger local and national advertisers.

The agreement focuses on the deployment of OwnLocal’s AdForge and Local Hero products. AdForge transforms traditional print advertising campaigns to digital advertising through search-engine optimization and search engine marketing. The Local Hero directory captures social media conversations about a business and delivers that stream to the advertiser’s directory listing or website.

"This partnership brings the power of OwnLocal's technology to one of the largest local newspapers companies in America. We look forward to delivering results for Digital First's tens of thousands of small business customers. All of us at OwnLocal couldn't be more excited to be working with their leadership, publishers and salespeople to build a vibrant and growing business around digital advertising," Lloyd Armbrust, founder and CEO of OwnLocal, said in a statement.

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