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26 April 2012

North West Fund for Digital & Creative makes £350,000 investment into First Active Media Limited

Press Release 26th April 2012

The North West Fund for Digital & Creative, managed by AXM Venture Capital Limited, has made a £350,000 equity investment into First Active Media Limited, which operates the Female First fashion and lifestyle website, alongside a further £25,000 of equity from new management.

Female First attracts the largest number of visitors of any similar female site in the UK with 2million monthly unique visitors.

First Active, which is based in Ashton-in-Makerfield, has evolved from an online retailer into the publisher of one of the UK's most professionally-constructed and entertaining sites focused on the female market. The investment will help enhance the site's content, further develop its affiliate programme and fund the recruitment of additional sales and marketing staff.

David Sharrock, chief executive of MEN Media until earlier this year, joins the company as non-executive chairman, while Martin Boddy, who is a well known figure in the digital marketing sector, has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Managing director Stephen Reay said: "We are proud of having created such a successful, high-quality site with our own limited resources. The new equity will allow us to complete our strategy of developing the UK's leading online women's lifestyle site."

David Smith, Investment Director of AXM Venture Capital, added: "When we first met Stephen Reay, we were incredibly impressed with what the company had created from a small office in the North West. The team has a clear plan to build on the site's huge popularity, using the Fund's investment to grow the team and fully capitalise on the website traffic."

The North West Fund for Digital and Creative is part of the £185m North West Fund financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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