Two Tampa Bay business heavyweights are now members of the board of directors of MyArea Network.
Tony DiBenedetto, co-founder and former CEO of Tribridge, and Jamie Egasti, former CEO of Catalina, joined the board after investing in the digital media and technology company.
MyArea Network publishes entertainment and lifestyles websites in Tampa, Orlando, and Austin with 150 sites across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and is a resource for night life, entertainment, dining, travel, events; and where to live, work, and play.
The company oversubscribed a $500,000 seed round of investment in October 2018 that included local angel investors like Rich McIntyre, Suren Ajjarapu, and Saul Rachelson; as well as Michael Toto, the VP of corporate strategic partnerships and business development of Verizon Media Group.
Egasti and DiBenedetto invested on an extended seed raise to bridge MyArea Network to a Series A, Conlon said. The amount invested is confidential but it is part of an open bridge that is expected to close by May.
MyArea Network is part of the Tampa Bay Wave accelerator, where DiBenedetto and Egasti are both entrepreneurs-in-residence. DiBenedetto was CEO of Tribridge, when the Tampa software firm sold to DXC Technology Co. for $152 million in 2017. He stepped down a few months after the deal and is currently working with several local startups.
DiBenedetto believes in the mission of MyArea Network and was impressed with Scott Conlon, president and CEO, according to a news release.
“Scott has the passion for his company that I was looking as an investor. If you have passion everything is good. That’s where success comes from. It’s the secret sauce and Scott has it,” DiBenedetto said.
Egasti brings experience as a consumer marketing innovator. Prior to leading Catalina, one of the larger marketing firms in St. Petersburg, Egasti was president of Folgers Coffee Co. and he spent 30 years at Proctor & Gamble where he led the creation, launch and global expansion of brands such Febreze and Swiffer.
“I am delighted to be working with Scott and MyArea as they deliver a technology platform that changes the game for local media,” Egasti said.
Both men bring talent, expertise and energy to MyArea Network, Conlon said. “We’re fortunate that they believe in what we do and will be by our side as we continue to strengthen our community ties and expansion efforts.”
Locally, MyArea Network operates 727area.com and 813area.com