EPrize Closes $32M in Funding

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EPrize, a leading interactive promotions agency, won $32 million from key Detroit-area investors.


The cash infusion aims to help the Pleasant Ridge, MI, shop add clients, invest in technology and continue its expansion. Fifth Third Bank offered bank financing and working capital facility.


Local investors Brian Hermelin and Gary Shiffman join ePrize's board of directors with this latest round of funding from them. Hermelin is president and co-CEO of Active Aero Group, and Shiffman is CEO of Sun Communities.


The other two investors and new board members are David Katzman and Dan Gilbert, both from Livonia, MI-based Camelot Ventures and first-time investors. Gilbert is founder and chairman of Quicken Loans/Rock Financial, Livonia, and majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. Katzman is vice chairman of Quicken Loans/Rock Financial and part owner and vice chairman of the Cavaliers.


All four executives join ePrize founder/CEO Josh Linkner and chief operating officer Robb Lippitt on the agency's board. Founded in 1999, ePrize creates interactive promotions for marketers like Coca-Cola Co., American Express Co., Harrah's, General Motors Corp., The Home Depot Inc., Yahoo Inc., Gap Inc., palmOne, Ford Motor Co., Unilever, Northwest Airlines, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., Dell Inc., Quicken Loans and Procter & Gamble Co.


"Over the last couple of years there has been a significant shift from large brand advertisers looking at interactive promotions as a strategic and important aspect of the overall marketing mix," Linkner said.


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