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VC firm funds Middleberg Euro breakaway start-up agency, LandersMadden

By Aimee Grove
NEW YORK:
Efinanceworks, a new VC fund/incubator hybrid that invests in technology driven financial services enterprises, has taken an equity position in a new PR firm launched by two senior execs breaking away from Middleberg Euro.

Maureen Landers, previously director of Middleberg's New York-based b-to-b practice, and Machie Madden, who served as associate director for the same group, have teamed up to form LandersMadden, a full-service PR firm specializing in b-to-b tech and financial services companies.

While an increasing number of VC firms and incubators have either hired PR firms for themselves or inked deals with agencies to provide PR services for portfolio companies, this is one of the first times a VC firm has actually helped fund a fledgling agency outright.

"As we started thinking about our own PR needs, we decided we needed access to top-level PR expertise in the areas of financial services and technology - not just for ourselves but for the portfolio companies," explained Doug Woodham, a managing partner at eFinanceworks.

Landers sees the venture as strategic relationship: "We have access to eFinanceworks' resources and they have access to us," she explained, nothing that one of the firm's managing directors will sit on her agency's executive board.

Landers and Madden plan to expand the firm to include clients outside the eFinanceworks portfolio, which currently includes such companies as Bankpass.com, CashEdge, Business Logic and NeuVis.

While with Middleberg, Landers and Madden helped found the b-to-b group and worked on such high-profile accounts as American Express Blue Card, AIG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Their replacements at Middleberg have not yet been named.

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