ePrize Secures $32 Million in Financing from Camelot Ventures
Quicken Loans Founder/Chairman Dan Gilbert and Vice Chairman David Katzman to join board
PLEASANT RIDGE, Mich., January 31, 2006 - ePrize, the world's leading interactive promotion agency, has secured a $32 million investment in the company from Camelot Ventures and several Detroit area business leaders. Fifth Third Bank provided bank financing and a working capital facility.
ePrize is the global leader in the multi-billion dollar interactive promotions industry. The company develops online promotions, including sweepstakes and reward programs, that enable clients to cut through the advertising clutter and establish direct relationships with their customers.
The $32 million investment was by made Livonia, Mich.-based Camelot Ventures, which is led by Detroit businessmen David Katzman and Daniel Gilbert; Brian Hermelin, CEO of Active Aero in Belleville, Mich.; and Gary Shiffman, CEO of Southfield, Mich.-based Sun Communities.
Gilbert is founder and Chairman of Livonia, Mich.-based Quicken Loans/Rock Financial, and majority owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. Quicken Loans (www.quickenloans.com) is the nation's largest online mortgage lender and Rock Financial (www.rockfinancial.com) is Michigan's largest mortgage company. Katzman is Vice Chairman of Quicken Loans/Rock Financial and also an owner and Vice Chairman of the Cavaliers.
Hermelin and Shiffman have been active investors in ePrize since 2001. Gilbert and Katzman are new investors. All four will join the ePrize board of directors alongside ePrize founder and CEO Josh Linkner and COO Robb Lippitt.
"Our new board members will add considerable strategic value to ePrize, acting as mentors and bringing a wealth of experience to enable the company to grow," said ePrize CEO Josh Linkner. "Our sales revenue has grown five-fold since 2002 and we are now fortunate to work with many of the world's top brands. This investment will enable us to acquire new clients, develop new technology and continue our overall expansion."
Interactive promotions play an important role in marketing because they produce results at a very low cost. ePrize's proprietary technology also helps their clients initiate and nurture one-to-one, permission-based relationships with their consumers.
"The interactive, online promotions area is now one of the fastest growing segments in the marketing industry because it is cost-effective and produces a direct, measurable response," said Katzman. "ePrize will benefit most from this growth because they lead the industry. They've transformed the way the world's major brands market to consumers, by building one-to-one relationships."
"ePrize has a talented creative team that has coupled marketing expertise with unique technology and they follow through on the back-end with fulfillment," said Gilbert. "The bottom line is they produce highly successful online promotions that drive results for their clients. We look forward to collaborating with them and helping them continue to grow."
ePrize designs and manages powerfully effective programs which create relationships between customers and brands and motivate specific consumer behavior. Their promotions create actionable customer profiles that turn data into dollars for clients and their agencies. The company has offices in Detroit, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London. For more information, visit www.eprize.com.
About Camelot Ventures
Camelot's past and current investments include: Quicken Loans, Rock Financial and Title Source; the Cleveland Cavaliers; ePrize, Rawlings Sporting Goods; Lens 1st, Lens Express and 1-800-Contacts, all contact lens retailing companies; Kintana, a technology chain automation software developer; Red Envelope, a leading online and catalog retailer of stylish gifts; and Cellerant, a privately held California-based non-embryonic stem cell company.
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