Panel Discussion


Tuesday, April 27, 2021


4 pm CET/10 am EST

Media for Equity - An untapped investment model for broadcasters and startups in CEE

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Recent headlines about large valuations and big funding rounds hide the fact that a huge number of venture-backed startups fail. 34% of startups fail because they lack a product-market fit whilst a further 22% do so because of little understanding of marketing strategies and how the media works.

To advertise their business, founders often rely on digital marketing, as an affordable and accessible medium. But most “Direct to Consumer” startups need to reach out further to get new customers.

Leveraging TV advertising requires an extensive amount of capital and knowledge of media, and it’s no secret that venture capitalists don’t like putting millions of euros into marketing avenues unless they’re absolutely sure it’s working.

As a result, a new financial model called “Media for Equity” has started gaining prominence among Western media and startups offering fast-growing companies access to advertising inventory in exchange for equity stakes or revenue share arrangements.

Whilst large TV stations in Western Europe such as ProSieben, Channel 4, Mediaset, and Media Funds such as German Media Pool have proven that the model works, "Media for Equity" still remains an untapped financial model in Eastern Europe.

Join senior media experts and founders to discuss the evolution of Media for Equity as a driver for revenue growth and diversification, the challenges to successful implementation, and the best practices to overcome them.

Start Date

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

4 pm CET/10 am EST

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Key topics of discussion

  • The business case for media for equity and how it emerged as a solution to combat startup failures and diversify revenue for media holdings
  • The ideal profile of a startup and what are the limitations and opportunities a founder should consider before adopting media for equity
  • Media funds structures, challenges, and opportunities for media holdings
  • The future of media for equity in Eastern Europe
  • Actionable insights from media funds and TV stations who have successfully adopted the model, for any broadcaster wanting to get started with Media for Equity investments

Our Speakers

Vinay Solanki

Channel 4 Ventures

Channel 4 is a leading UK public service broadcaster with a global reputation for ground-breaking content that attracts young, affluent viewers, a unique position
versus most “Free-to-Air” broadcasters. Channel 4 Ventures is a breakout innovation activity that invests in start-up / growth phase companies using media inventory. Since joining in 2015 to establish the activity, Channel 4 Ventures has completed over 25 investments and has already seen 4 exits including the IPO’s of Pinterest, Readly and Eve Sleep plc. Vinay is a digital expert, and a seasoned veteran in the media landscape, holding senior roles related to digital strategy / digital execution in leading global media companies for the past 15 years.

Dennis Ahrling

German Media Pool

Dennis is Principal at Berlin based venture capital fund GMPVC, Europe’s leading independent media for equity VC funds. GMPVC invests in fast growing consumer start-ups, such as unicorn fashion shop ABOUT YOU and digital car insurance agency FRIDAY. Dennis holds an M.Sc. in Strategic Entrepreneurship from the Rotterdam School of Management and a Master of Finance from ESADE, Barcelona. As a co-founder of tech-conferences; Angel Island and PHX, he regularly brings together global start-ups and ecosystem innovators on a private island in Amsterdam.

Marta Zuska

Head of NextTECHnow (Publicis Groupe Poland)

Senior Business Leader with track of record in growth management. Practices in organisations with divers business models and revenue streams (consumer products, services, advertising). Field of expertise: business models development based on B2B partnerships and tailored cooperation mechanism. Currently is responsible for managing an acceleration program for startups and SMEs at Publicis Groupe, one of the largest communication groups in the world. Mentor and business advisor for young women entrepreneurs at Cherie Blair Foundation.

Chris Sheldrick

Co-Founder and CEO at what3words

Chris co-founded what3words, the simplest way to talk about location. It has divided the world into 3m squares and given each a unique 3 word address. It means that now people can refer to any precise location in just three words – from a delivery entrance in the city to a home in a settlement where addresses don’t exist. From Mercedes-Benz and Ford to Airbnb, Lonely Planet and the UN, today thousands of businesses use what3words to improve their efficiency, customer experience and even save lives.

what3words have previously collaborated with Channel 4 and closed a new media for equity deal with ITV at the start of 2021.

Moderated by

Volker Moser

Entrepreneur & Co-Founder at Romania Insider

Volker Moser is a co-founding partner at Romania Insider, a market leader for English news about Romania with 3.6 m unique readers in 2020. He also leads City Compass Intercultural Consulting, which provides executive coaching and training services for expats in Romania covering leadership, business communication and etiquette, Romanian business mentality, cultural insights and team building across borders.

Join some of the world's largest media stations and serial entrepreneurs on April 27th to learn more about investing and using Media for Equity to drive future growth.

Register here

Thursday, April 23rd

4 pm CET/11 am EST

Who is this event for?

  • Senior media leaders and owners of broadcasting studios in Eastern Europe who want to learn more about the legal and business structure of a media for equity deal before starting to trade advertising for a share in the capital
  • VCs who want to leverage media for equity alongside cash-based investment rounds to achieve higher equity returns in a shorter timeframe.
  • This session is also particularly relevant for “Direct to Consumer” revenue-generating startups who have raised an initial round of investment, have a proven product available on the market, and are looking to grow revenue and scale cross-borders.

Dennis Ahrling

German Media Pool

"A Media for Equity deal involves the relocation of media resources to startups in return for equity. Instead of investing our cash, we invest media in return for equity in fast-going scalable consumer products. What the media groups do with the media for equity deals is to monetise media inventory that otherwise would have not been used or monetized in an efficient way."

"Often Media for Equity investments are done via a convertible note, they act as a good bridge to the next financing round. Convertible notes will convert into equity based on the valuation (sometimes with discount) of the startup's next equity financing round. This allows companies to start immediately with media and they can develop their businesses before a cash funding round."

Luise Grunner

German Media Pool

Join some of the world's largest media stations and serial entrepreneurs on April 27th to learn more about investing and using Media for Equity to drive future growth.


Thursday, April 23rd

4 pm CET/11 am EST

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