Estonian native marketing start-up PRNEWS.IO to raise two million euros via bond issue

An Estonian start-up that helps businesses get media coverage and news site publishers earn rewards is set to issue two million euros in convertible bonds, a move that confirms an increasing trend for dynamic young start-ups to look beyond traditional financing rounds.

The issue is split into convertible secured priority bonds with a par value of 1,000 euros, and the start-up, PRNEWS.IO, will use the funds to help its expansion on the global market.

The expected coupon rate is 12 per cent per annum, with bond payments to be made semi-annually. The bond buy back period is 24 months, due in September 2022.

The securities issue will be carried out by PRNEWS OÜ, registered in Estonia, and the bond issue is secured by the company’s shares, estimated at 15 million euros. The company’s capital is registered at the Nasdaq CSD.

PRNEWS OÜ operates the world’s first sponsored content online store, with fixed prices for publications. It is the leading online platform in Europe and Asia and brings together over 30,000 online media publishers and customers from 55 countries to advertise brands on the internet natively.

PRNEWS.IO currently has three offices, in Estonia, Ukraine and Russia, and in March 2020, the company became a marketing and sales service provider for the Estonian state digital identity e-Residency programme.

The start-up also in March launched a new audience measurement service for articles that allows the platform’s customers not only to post articles online, but also see the actual number of views, as well as the time which users spend on the page.

This allows brands to be more selective when choosing websites for publishing sponsorship content, monitor the effectiveness of publications, and edit their advertising budgets.

The company believes that the new service will help provide transparency to the content marketing ecosystem, as until recently the effectiveness of publishing sponsorship content was measured merely by the number of visits to the website.

“PR agencies working with the media, and the online websites themselves, benefit from this formula,” says Ksenia Reznikova, head of the PR department of the PRNEWS.IO platform.

According to her, the current practice in the market was to sell the popularity of a whole website, even though that may not be relevant for the actual coverage of a sponsored article.

“Although for sure, PR agencies and websites will try to convince you of this. But how to find out the truth?”, she says.

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