Asset management firm Northgate Capital, a majority owned by Religare Enterprises Ltd, has led a $6.6 million Series C round of funding in digital advertising firm Rocket Fuel Inc. Existing investors in California-based Rocket Fuel including Mohr Davidow Ventures, Labrador Capital Fund, Nokia Growth Partners and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati also participated in the funding.

This brings the company’s overall corporate valuation to $160 million, over three times its projected revenue of more than $50 million for the current year. The funds will be utilised for augmenting organic growth, with a focus on new product development, as well as expansion of business development, sales and marketing activities.

“With this investment, we enter into an important new phase of development and expansion as we weave together intelligent solutions that help marketers make digital advertising work better across display, video, mobile and social media inventory,” said George John, CEO at Rocket Fuel.

Founded by former executives from NASA, Yahoo! and DoubleClick, Rocket Fuel has a customer base of more than 300 blue chip companies and global brands. With more than 150 repeat customers to date, Rocket Fuel works with eight of the top 10 AdAge Leading National Advertisers, and eight of the top 10 Interbrand Most Valuable Brands through relationships with major advertising and digital agencies, the company said.

Rocket Fuel launched its first digital advertising solution in 2009, and now employs more than 90 individuals across six offices in the USA, in addition to its corporate headquarters in the Silicon Valley.

Last year, Religare struck a deal to acquire a majority equity interest in Northgate’s Management Company, even as Northgate’s five partners said that they would continue to retain controlling interests in Northgate’s General Partner entities and also maintain a significant equity stake in the Management Company. The deal was a part of the global expansion of Religare’s operations, as it seeks to become India’s first large international financial services company.

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