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Russian investment firm iTech Capital tells us that they have acquired blocking shares in online context advertising and SEO agency iContext, which was founded in 2002 and has become the largest online ad agency in the Russian market. iTech did not wish to reveal the size of the deal, but Victoria Gracheva from the firm told me that their deals are typically between $5-10 million (3,75-7,5 million Euro). iContext previously obtained investment in 2008 for an undisclosed amount from ru-Net Ventures, which also has invested in Biglion, in a Series A round for Yandex, and in a round for OZON.
iContext currently has more than 650 customers, such as OZON, UniCredit Bank, and AVITO, among others. They are reportedly behind 4% of all advertising and 7% of paid search traffics on Runet (Russian internet). iContext is the parent company of online agency Registratura, marketing agency Webprofiters, SEO agency iSeo, and social-media marketing agency Sociorama. iContext acts as the exclusive reseller in Russia of the Efficient Frontier system, which has been acquired by Adobe and renamed Adlens. It is the largest partner in Russia for Yandex.Direct, Google AdWords, Begun, and Vkontakte. Although they manage a number of online advertising and marketing companies, the company largely focuses on pay per click (PPC). For 2012, the company reports delivering more than 250 million clicks.
Gracheva says that this is the 3rd investment by iTech in companies which operate in the online-advertising and SEO markets. We previously covered iTech when they invested $3,5 million (2,61 million Euro) in online ad-management system Garpun, when they bought Moscow online ticketbroker MDTZK (since renamed Ticketland) for 12 million Euro, and when they acquired a minority stake in SEO Pult for $10 million (7,5 million Euro). In commenting on this most recent deal, Nick Davydov from iTech says that this deal will offer new business opportunities to each of iContext’s companies to be consolidated within the fund.
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