wpp.com announces five interactive investmentswpp.com, the parent company for the interactive activities of WPP Group plc ("WPP"), announces a series of investments designed to increase the range of talent and resources available to clients.
These investments, generally involving stakes of under 10% (with the exception of Spydre at 25%), are in companies whose technologies, content and resources will enhance the competitive advantage of WPP companies.
Board positions in these companies are being filled by senior wpp.com people from the Group's direct, interactive, and information and consultancy disciplines. The total cost of these investments is approximately $16million.
The five investments are:
1. Metapack which builds, designs and manages fulfilment solutions for internet retailers. UK-based Metapack provides the technology and supply chain logistics expertise to deliver robust, deployable and scaleable fulfilment operations.
2. Imagine is an Israeli-based company that develops communication software solutions that provide live customer interaction via the web. Its product, Visual Meeting, web-enables contact centres and allows clients to increase the productivity and quality of customer service centres. It was the winner of "Most Innovative Product" at technology show CEBIT '99.
3. Red Sheriff is an internet-based audience measurement and market research company with commercial operations in Australia, UK, Italy, Denmark and Finland. Its technology allows measurement of every visit and page seen at a web site.
4. BigWords the premiere lifestyle brand and online destination for 18-24 year olds in the US. It is the number one site targeting the college age audience and brings together an innovative blend of highly selective content and commerce. Other investors in BigWords include NBC and GE Capital.
5. Spydre Labs ('Spydre') is a leading e-business accelerator targeting Latin America and the US Hispanic market. The company takes stakes in a variety of companies - mostly infrastructure and B2B - and speeds their development. Investments already made by Spydre include Lineabox.com, the leading unified messaging provider for Latin America; Todobebe.com, the leading baby and parenting site for Latin America; DoUWantit.com, simplifying international e-commerce; and Agrozona, Latin America's agricultural B2B exchange. As part of this investment, WPP has become the preferred marketing advisor to Spydre Labs companies and will have first option on providing marketing services on a commercial basis.