Why should Media Groups consider offering Media for Equity deals to companies
Why should Media Groups consider offering Media for Equity deals to companies

Written by

Flavius Floare



min. read

Media for Equity has gained popularity in Europe as an alternative investment model to the traditional Venture Capital (VC) investments.

In the past 20 years, Media for Equity deals have helped European startups become unicorns on their own rights and establish themselves as leaders in their respective fields.

But what is Media for Equity and why should Media Groups consider offering Media for Equity deals to companies?

To put it plainly, Media for Equity means an exchange of media resources for equities, capital and in some cases, revenue. Naturally, the parties involved in this deal are the media group, the media for equity investment fund and a company.

  • Media Group
  • Media for Equity Investment Fund
  • Company

For example in Germany, Media Group ProSiebenSat. 1 Media AG established a partnership with Media for Equity Investment Fund, SevenVentures and this partnership offered Media for Equity deals to Zalando, a German retailer of fashion products.

As you can see, a Media Group is an essential part of Media for Equity deals: it offers media resources such as TV, radio or print advertising to the company it has a deal with.

In several european countries such as Germany, The UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland, media companies Channel 5, Channel 4, ProSieben, RTL, ITV, Mediaset Espana and many others have participated in such deals and all of them proved to be successful, if we are to take case studies such as Zalando, About and what3words.

So why should Media Groups consider offering Media for Equity deals to companies?

We have some answers to this question.

Here is why:

1. Monetising unused media space

The most important advantage of setting up a Media for Equity investment fund is that a media conglomerate will be able to monetise its media inventory that otherwise would have not been used or monetised in an efficient way.

A lot of Media Groups, especially the western european ones are dealing with the issue of having too much unused media inventory.

German Media for Equity investment funds have formed partnerships with German Media Groups specifically to address and to offer a viable solution to this problem.  

Media for Equity is a very good tool for media companies to do management for their inventory.

2. Diversification of income  

The Media Groups can diversify their sources of income by joining or creating a Media for Equity fund, especially given the pandemic where many people turned on the TV. Media outlets can also use the Media for Equity deals as a pipeline for getting new customers.

Case study: ProSieben did a lot of Media for Equity deals and they created a whole unit with the companies they built through these deals and then they bought the unit (Nucom Group) - diversifying revenue - from media to media related business models.

3. Competitive advantage  

One advantage of a media conglomerate offering Media for Equity deals is the competitive advantage. Through such a deal, a media conglomerate offers something else than money, it offers media space.

As we could see earlier in our paper, there are not a lot of Media for Equity investment funds, not even on an european level. There are virtually no Media for Equity investment funds in Eastern Europe, aside from a Media for Equity investment fund in Russia, so Eastern Europe remains an untapped potential when it comes to Media for Equity.

As one can notice, a media company would not have to worry about competition. And in cases where there is a competition, different deals can be done by different investment pools.

We mention here the case of German Media Pool, an independent Media for Equity investment pool, that offered deals to Zalando and About You at the same time when SevenVentures offered them (SevenVentures is a corporate Media for Equity investment fund).

4. Reusing Traditional Media (such as Print Media)

When it comes to using traditional media such as print media, a Media for Equity deal can be a way to innovate them.

Traditional print media such as can be used in advertising in digital form and online newspapers.  

Other forms of traditional media, such as television or radio can be brought upfront and used in Media for Equity deals. what3words, a british startup, gained national awareness through the Media for Equity deals it has done with Channel 4 Ventures and ITV Ventures.

Case Study: In a Media for Equity deal done with Aggregate Media, Deversify got to 70,000 readings of one of their native articles with the help of both traditional and digital print media.

Traditional Media versus New Media

Today, Media Groups are faced with a challenge. People are tuning more and more into new media: streaming platforms, social media, the Internet, leaving behind the traditional media such as radio, television, and print.

While Eastern Europe is still watching TV in very large amounts of time (according to Statista, the average TV consumption in Eastern Europe in 2021 is 205.4 minutes/daily), the new possibilities means that the number of people using and consuming new media is more likely to increase in this decade.

These are changing times for Media Groups, but there is a solution.

Media Groups can invest in startups by offering Media for Equity deals.

Media for Equity works best with B2C companies, especially startups that need exposure and Media Groups can offer media inventory in exchange for equity and capital.

The succes is proven: Media Groups in Germany are diversifying their revenue streams in this way and as we mentioned earlier in this article, they go on to create their own Media for Equity Ventures Division.

Relying only on traditional media is not an option anymore. While traditional media is not going to fade away anytime soon, its consumption will decrease with the presence of new gadgets and technological advancements.

Media Groups will be able to keep using their traditional media channels while expanding into new horizons with Media for Equity, gaining more revenue and capital while also solidifying their position in the market as supporters of startups and business ecosystems.

How can they do it?

They have to be willing to understand the Media for Equity investment model. This is why we have conducted research on this concept.

Let's build something together.

Book a call

Let's build something together.

Get in Touch

40+ pages of actionable insights, case studies and expert interviews on media for equity

What is media for equity?

The evolution of this model across different European hubs

How media for equity emerged as a solution to combat startup failures and diversify revenue for media holdings

Media funds structures, challenges and opportunities for broadcasters and media agencies

A 5-step guide for CEOs to get started with Media for Equity investments

Tapping into new opportunity spaces - Media for Equity in Central Eastern Europe

Download the White Paper

Contact Form

Grai Group is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and we’ll only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you requested from us. From time to time, we would like to contact you about our products and services, as well as other content that may be of interest to you. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose, please tick below to say how you would like us to contact you:

You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information on how to unsubscribe, our privacy practices, and how we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.

By clicking submit below, you consent to allow Rainmaking Innovation to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

We can work with your team

Determining what is of interest to own

We can facilitate a 2h session to:

help co-define the opportunities you are interested in

determine what kind of ventures you’re ultimately interested in owning in 4-5 years

Innovation Opportunity Assessment

Identity high-relevance opportunity spaces

Assessment of emerging business models and technology trends

Recommended portfolio of strategic growth opportunities through co-creation with startups, and building new ventures

Venture Validation Sprint

Validation and launch new initiatives

Invest in non-core business models that you can own

De-risk the process of building new ventures

News & Events

Venture Building


min. read

5 Benefits of creating a corporate startup together with external entrepreneurs

Some corporations, including Google, Cisco or Axa have successfully developed their own “venture studios”, launching numerous new businesses over the course of several years. However, most of these ventures once validated are spun-out and not developed internally. Netflix spun out its “Netflix Box” division, which became Roku -- a company that now has a $4 billion-plus market cap. Fog Creek Software (now Glitch) spun out Trello and Stack Overflow. Cisco spun out -- and subsequently acquired -- three different startups from the same group of founders. However many more had tried but failed to deliver the expected results and had their units closed.

Venture Building


min. read

What is a Venture Validation Sprint and how can you use it to de-risk your corporate startup failing?

In this article, we’ll explore the first phase of the venture building process - a 2-3 months venture validation sprint covering the building blocks of start-up creation: idea generation, validation and pre-launch execution. This process is designed to quickly identify, validate and test new concepts and de-risk the chances of failure when scaling the business further.

Media for Equity


min. read

B2C startups are the best candidates for Media for Equity deals

Media for Equity is an investment model viewed as an alternative to the traditional VC (Venture Capital) where Media Groups offer media resources in form of advertising to companies in exchange for equities and capital. The deals are usually done through a third party, known as a Media for Equity investment fund. Learn more about the best candidates for Media for Equity deals.