HotSocket Inc. gets $20M for direct-Web hybrid

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HotSocket Inc., New York, said Wednesday that it has landed $20 million in financing to advance its plan to mesh direct marketing techniques with Internet advertising. The company, which garners about 50% of its revenues from b-to-b advertisers, will use the funds to continue its expansion. HotSocket tailors special advertising offers for customers after they click on a Web banner. It uses databases to determine the potential value of customers, and the accompanying offer they should receive. The company will also run an entire Internet direct-response campaign for a client for an extra fee. To date, such companies as Chase Bank, Nova International, Starwood Hotels and Times Mirror Magazine have tapped the service. Highland Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs and Zero Stage Capital made the equity investments. The move underscores momentum in direct marketing/Internet combinations, following closely on the heels of VentureDirect's plan to integrate print direct marketing and Internet direct-response campaigns in a single buy.
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