The Populis blogging empire expands with €8.2m acquisition

15 Sep 2011

Luca Ascani, co-founder and chairman of Populis

New media publishing empire Populis, which has European headquarters in Dublin, has continued its acquisitive growth with the purchase of Berlin-based Mokono – Germany’s biggest blog network.

The €8.2m deal comprises the total of Mokono’s localised blog networks across 13 European countries and Canada, adding 14m unique monthly users across its 700,000 registered blogs to Populis’s substantial network of online media properties. Included in the deal are the influential media properties and

Populis, which recently reported €58m revenues, has been named one of Europe’s 25 fastest-growing digital media companies. It is growing its workforce in Dublin from 58 to 80 people.

The network of blogs and content sites has more than tripled its multilingual content production in the last two years across its high-profile media brands, which include Excite Europe, Better Deals, Nanopublishing, Blogosfere and Blogo.

The latest acquisition provides Populis with a portfolio of new skills essential for success as a next-generation media company, including the ability to truly enable the largely untapped creative class online through a comprehensive range of revenue sources.

A deep understanding of content production, social and search distribution at scale, coupled with Mokono’s state-of-the-art advertising solutions that allow advertisers to succeed in the digital space, gives Populis a unique competitive edge in Europe.

Included in the acquisition is Mokono’s pioneering social advertising platform, which is the first of its kind in Europe to provide advertisers with a single access to a wide range of premium and highly-customisable social advertising solutions, such as social ads, video seeding or product reviews across the Mokono network and its affiliated blog portals.

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“We are delighted to welcome Mokono to the Populis Group. The strategic acquisition reinforces Populis’ leadership in the production of multilingual, vertical content and greatly increases its presence in key European markets, such as Germany and the UK,“ said Luca Ascani, co-founder and chairman of Populis.

“In addition to a significant growth in traffic, independent websites, writers and media properties, the acquisition also greatly enhances our technology assets.

“Mokono’s unique social advertising platform connects advertisers to bloggers, providing advertisers with a single access to one of the most influential consumer segments online. Bloggers, in turn, benefit from several easy-to-use revenue streams which they can apply to fit their individual needs.”

The enhanced online advertising platform, combined with a larger audience reach, will deliver a more influential, wide-ranging advertising solution to advertisers, brands and publishers alike through the Populis network.

Vasco Sommer-Nunes and Florian Wilken, co-founders and managing directors of Mokono, will continue to manage the company’s operations and staff from its headquarters in Berlin.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years