Valhalla Partners Leads $1.5M Round, with participation from Mercury Fund, ENIAC Ventures, Ben Franklin Technology Partners
NEW YORK - Vistar Media, the first digital out of home programmatic media platform, announced that it has closed its initial institutional round of funding. Valhalla Partners led the $1.5M seed round, with Mercury Fund also participating, along with Ben Franklin Technology Partners and others.
Vistar Media’s founding team includes Jeremy Ozen, Michael Provenzano (previously a co-founder of Invite Media), and Mark Chadwick (Invite Media’s Chief Architect). The company’s deep experience in real-time bidding (RTB) platforms positions them favorably to develop this new segment, and they enjoy a substantial first-mover advantage in the digital out of home media segment.
The company’s platform enables brand buyers and agency trading desks alike to harness the precision of RTB and the scale of digital out of home while leveraging the enormous creative palette available in that medium. Vistar Media has also released Real World Retargeting™, enabling retailers to leverage the highly effective tactic of retargeting across a new media landscape. TechCrunch covered this funding first.
“Vistar Media’s team of programmatic display media experts is positioned to take advantage of the trend in what many regard as the most interesting segment for programmatic, digital out of home,” said Kiran Hebbar, General Partner at Valhalla Partners. “The next five years will bring us closer to the vision portrayed in science fiction movies like Minority Report, with advertisers delivering messages with far more precision and relevance across all digital channels in one buy, and seeing far less waste in their campaigns.”
Vistar Media has executed campaigns for several agency trading desks and ad networks, including WPP’s Spafax unit among others. These campaigns have been targeted to geographic regions as broad as multiple states and as narrow as multiple zip codes.
“The most successful digital media models have been those that upend the traditional way buyers and sellers transact. Search, for example, reverses traditional direct marketing every time a user makes a query,” said Blair Garrou, Managing Director of Mercury Fund. “Vistar Media is enabling a similarly new model, transforming the staid billboard or placard into the largest palette, eventually making it the smartest palette too through their technology.”
“People take for granted today that programmatic display is a thriving segment online,” said Provenzano. “But, when we launched Invite Media, relatively few people knew what programmatic display meant, let alone where it was going. There’s no such resistance today in the digital out of home segment, and we’re already seeing tremendous growth in our business.”
About Valhalla Partners
Valhalla Partners is a trusted partner and advisor to technology entrepreneurs in their quest to build world-class companies. Based in Vienna, Virginia, the firm’s management team has made more than 120 investments over the past twenty years and produced almost $1 billion of investment proceeds. Valhalla prefers investments where the mission of the company is to innovate, challenge and fundamentally change the dynamics of new and existing markets. Investments by Valhalla’s team include Adaptly, Advertising.com, AvailTVN, JumpTap, LeftHand Networks, Nirvanix, PlaceIQ, Progress Software, Proxicom, RealOps, Register.com, Riverbed Technologies, SafeNet, ServiceBench, SolidFire, Videology, Trilogy, and webMethods. Valhalla Partners brings the full power and network of its experienced team to every investment it makes, helping companies grow faster and smarter regardless of size or maturity.
About Mercury Fund
Mercury Fund is a seed-stage venture capital firm that makes equity investments in compelling and novel software and science-based startup opportunities. Mercury partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs to build globally competitive businesses, focusing on technology innovation originating in the U.S. Midcontinent. The firm has a particular interest in startups associated with seed accelerators, incubators and universities, and frequently invests prior to the formation of a business plan or complete management team. Since inception in 2005, Mercury has become one of the most active seed-stage venture firms in the U.S., becoming a “go-to” fund for entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of idea generation, company formation, and market execution. For more information, please visit www.mercuryfund.com.
About Vistar Media
Vistar Media’s place-based media ad serving technology provides the industry with its first programmatic platform. With Vistar, media buyers and place-based networks can now seamlessly transact across guaranteed and non-guaranteed inventory. With the power of real-time reporting and data driven audience targeting, place-based media can become part of every digital media campaign, with the most precise targeting available and the largest palette anywhere.