October 28, 2008
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia To Take Equity Stake in Pingg Corp.
NEW YORK, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. today announced an agreement to invest in, and enter a commercial agreement with, Pingg Corp. (http://www.pingg.com/), an online event management site that offers stylish invitations and easy-to-use event planning tools. The move reflects MSLO's strategy to broaden its digital footprint.
Pingg was created by seasoned entrepreneurs Lorien Gabel and Matt Harrop, who together have founded, built and sold two successful technology startups. The site offers customizable invitations that can be delivered electronically, in print or shared on a social network. It also allows customers to easily personalize their event webpage and manage RSVPs, guest lists, reminders, last-minute changes and thank-you notes. Pingg.com launched in February 2008. Since then, approximately 2.5 million invitations have been sent through Pingg.com. Its business model combines both online advertising and paid services.
Wenda Harris Millard, President of Media and Co-CEO of MSLO, said: "Pingg has created a superb platform in an area where MSLO has tremendous brand equity: entertaining. Like our WeddingWire investment made earlier this year, Pingg illustrates our commitment to our digital business and our focus on growing our core franchises in new and exciting ways by providing tools and resources that enable our customers to carry out the inspiring ideas they expect from Martha Stewart. By bringing together MSLO's holiday and entertaining inspiration with Pingg's digital invitation and planning tools, we can provide a best-in-class experience for hosts and a growth opportunity for our company."
Through the commercial agreement, Pingg will offer its online invitation and event management tools on marthastewart.com. In addition, Pingg's main web property, http://www.pingg.com/, will receive Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia content, which will include integrated links to drive traffic to marthastewart.com. Pingg has also designated MSLO as its exclusive national advertising sales force for the duration of the agreement.
"Securing MSLO, the pre-eminent name in entertaining, as a major investor is a great validation of our business and our technology," said Lorien Gabel, CEO and Co-Founder of Pingg. "We are excited by the potential of bringing our online tools to Martha's large, enthusiastic audience, and we're looking forward to our new partner's strategic insights as we build the company."
As part of MSLO's investment, VP of Strategy and Development Joseph Holland will join Pingg's board of directors.
About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. is a diversified media and merchandising company, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique lifestyle content and distinctive products. The Publishing segment encompasses four magazines, including the company's flagship publication, Martha Stewart Living, periodic special issues and books. The marthastewart.com website provides consumers with instant access to MSLO's multimedia library, search and find capabilities, recipes, online workshops, community and personalization, as well as wedding-planning tools powered by WeddingWire. The Broadcasting segment produces such programming as the Emmy-winning daily, nationally syndicated television series, "The Martha Stewart Show," and Martha Stewart Living Radio, channel 112 on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. In addition to its media properties, MSLO offers high-quality Martha Stewart products through licensing agreements with carefully selected companies, including the Martha Stewart Collection exclusively at Macy's, Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart, Martha Stewart Crafts with EK Success at Wal-Mart, Michaels and independent retailers, Martha Stewart for 1-800-Flowers.com and a co-branded food line with Costco. In April 2008, Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands; MSLO acquired the assets related to Lagasse's media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, and emerils.com website and his licensed kitchen and food products. For additional information about MSLO, visit http://www.marthastewart.com/.
Based in New York, pingg.com was co-founded in 2006 by brothers Lorien (Tree) Gabel and (Ami) Matt Harrop. Lorien and Matt are CEO and CTO respectively. Their third business venture together, pingg.com is a new, free invitation creation and event management platform that lets design conscious hosts seamlessly create, send and manage stylish invitations and event communications for personal and professional events via online and print. With stylish designs, integrated print, social networking features, customizable event web page and easy to use tools, pingg is changing the way hosts create and plan their events on the web. For more information, visit pingg.com.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
CONTACT: Elizabeth Estroff, SVP, Corporate Communications of MarthaStewart Living Omnimedia, +1-212-827-8281, [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.marthastewart.com/http://www.marthastewart.com/irhttp://www.pingg.com/http://www.weddingwire.com/