Pulling the covers off of another rollup, Austin Ventures will invest $50 million into ATCOR Holdings, a new digital media vehicle headed by Sherman Atkinson, formerly COO of MySpace incubator Intermix. Atkinson was already known to be cooking something up with the firm as a CEO-in-residence. AV has now announced a string of these deals, whereby an individual entrepreneur is given about $50 million to start rolling companies up in a certain area. Back in April, the Austin, TX-based firm committed $50 million to a social networking rollup headed by ex-Razorfish CEO Jeff Dachis. It has also backed former BankRate CEO Elizabeth Demarse.
There's something a little bit SPAC-ish about these deals. Basically they're a bet on an entrepreneur and a certain market. In this case, the money will be used for organic and acquisition-based growth in online advertising, marketing and digital media. Austin Ventures parter David Marck told the Austin-American Statesman that it still sees a big gap between the time spent online and the advertising dollars spent online (a very familiar argument made by those arguing that online advertising has years of growth ahead of it). Release.
As we have reported, Austin Ventures is also acquiring Entrepreneur Media, though it's not clear where in the rubric that deal falls.
By Joseph Weisenthal