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PRESS RELEASE: Beringea invests $3 million in marketing services company Freeosk, Inc.
August 5, 2013
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Beringea, LLC, a private equity firm providing growth capital to market-leading businesses, has made a $3 million investment in Freeosk, Inc. (“Freeosk”), a data driven marketing services company with operations in St. Joseph, Mich. and Chicago. Proceeds from the financing will be used to purchase capital equipment, fund additional staffing, install the Freeosk system in a major national retailer, and provide further product development. Chicago-based First Analysis participated alongside Beringea in the $6 million Series A funding round.
Freeosk is a proprietary marketing services platform that offers consumers a fast and fun way to receive free samples of new products wherever they shop, play and explore. Via a network of interactive kiosks that automatically distribute free samples, Freeosk aims to improve current product sampling solutions by increasing consumer conversion rates while providing deeper insights to retail and manufacturer partners about how shoppers discover and adopt new products. Freeosk has orchestrated pilot programs in several retail outlets and is contracted to introduce the concept nationwide later this year.
“Freeosk and the engagement data it measures offers a unique and compelling value proposition to retailers, consumer packaged goods manufacturers, and shoppers at a time when ROI of marketing programs has become increasingly important. The company enjoys first mover advantage, a proprietary technology platform, and an established entry point into one of the world’s largest retailers,” said Michael Gross, managing director at Beringea.
“We’re excited to become part of the Freeosk story,” said Jim Macdonald, managing director at First Analysis. “Giving major brands an opportunity to engage with consumers in an in-store setting and then leverage that interaction with data, Internet, and mobile connectivity is hugely powerful for brands and retailers.”
Freeosk President Matt Eichorn said, “This investment provides the capital for Freeosk to take a major step forward in becoming a leader in how shoppers adopt new products, but we’re equally pleased to gain the support and expertise of two respected partners in Beringea and First Analysis. We hope to benefit greatly from their extensive experience and domain knowledge.”
Beringea, LLC provides equity and/or mezzanine debt to small- and-middle market companies. The Firm, which includes Michigan-based Beringea, LLC and its London, UK office Beringea LLP, invests in portfolio companies operating in a range of sectors, including health care, clean technology, manufacturing, media, Internet technologies and specialized consumer products.
With flexible capital solutions, extensive investing experience and offices in the U.S. and UK, Beringea’s team offers its portfolio companies the resources to grow their businesses and create value for shareholders. For more information, visit www.beringea.com.
In the United States of America, Beringea operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor, Beringea, LLC. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Beringea LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Beringea LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with company number OC342919, and its registered office is at 39 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LT, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Beringea’s potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.
About First Analysis
First Analysis has one of the longest records (28 years) in private capital investing and has invested more than $700 million across 12 funds in three fund families. First Analysis invests in high-growth sectors where its expertise and differentiated research approach drive success: health care, IT applications and outsourced services, and clean-tech / infrastructure. First Analysis helps established companies become profitable leaders in large markets, funding growth plans and working closely with management in areas including strategy, recruitment, sales and marketing, and corporate development. Its flexible approach targets investing $3-10 million as lead investor or as a syndicate partner who brings valuable perspective to the table.
Andi Jenkins, Director of Marketing and Communications