Media

Madison Avenue meets Sand Hill Road: KBS+P Ventures bets on ad startups

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Can a New York advertising agency replicate the success of Silicon Valley’s venture-capital firms? Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners has launched KBS+P Ventures to find out.

The fund, structured more like a corporate venture arm than a traditional VC firm, will focus on early stage investments in ad and consumer technologies.

Entrepreneurs who receive funding from KBS+P Ventures will have access to the resources of sister companies under Kirshenbaum’s Parent, MDC Partners. MDC clients include BMW, Coca-Cola, and Levi Strauss & Co. among others.

Investments will range from $50,000 to $200,000. Like many corporate venture arms, KBS+P Ventures will not be raising outside capital.

The company’s first investment is in Yieldbot, an on-demand realtime media intelligence platform. It figures out what visitors for digital media sites want and then makes that data available to advertisers and publishers.

The operation is the brainchild of Darren Herman, Kirshenbaum Bond’s chief digital media officer, who will be the managing director of KBS+P Ventures. Since 1998, he has raised more than $50 million in funding for his own ventures and has participated in firms that have raised more than $100 million. In 2008, he founded Varick Media Management, which focused on audience-driven digital media buys of advertising on the Web. (He’s pictured here , left, with Lori Senecal, president and chief executive of KBS+P, right.)

Herman said the company will offer startups advice on public relations, media, strategy, creative content, and development resources. It isn’t clear how much money the fund has to invest.