AT&T, Nokia, others invest in Zvents

NEW YORK Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:52am EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Zvents, a local online search engine and advertising network, said on Tuesday that it had raised $24 million from several investors, including Nokia's venture capital unit, AT&T Inc and digital map data company Navteq.

Zvents plans to use the money to expand its ad network of local listings and to invest in its technology, which helps people using mobile telephones and other devices find information on events.

The technology focuses on events such as store sales, dining specials, sporting events and concerts, and lets local businesses pair their ads with those events.

Other investors in this round include Vantage Point Venture Partners and Red Rock Ventures, which have previously invested in the company. Those two partners, as well as NetService Ventures, already had invested about $7.2 million in Zvents.

The San Mateo, California-based company, which employs about 55 people, has an ad network that includes more than 250 media, advertising and mobile device partners. They include Viacom's mtvU campus guides online network and Microsoft Corp's MSN CityGuides, as well as U.S. newspaper publishers McClatchy Co and the New York Times Co.

Zvents plans to hold steady on its venture-funding course -- at least for now, Chief Executive Ethan Stock said.

"Either an or an acquisition is more or less inevitable," he said.

(Reporting by Robert MacMillan, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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