A new startup called Vistar Media is looking to change the digital out-of-home advertising market by making it more programmatic, more targetable, and more predictive. In other words, it’s hoping to make buying ads on displays outside the home kind of like buying display ads online. Ya dig?
Vistar Media was founded by a couple of veterans from the real-time bidding world online, but it’s targeting the digital out of home market. That means TV screens in stores, malls, restaurants, bars — any display that is connected to the Internet and can serve ads to passersby. Up until recently, that market was pretty fragmented, with brands and agencies having to buy across multiple different locations, without a ton of data for where their ads would appear or how effective they were.
To go after this market, Vistar has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Valhalla Partners, with participation from Mercury Fund and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
Vistar Media’s founding team Michael Provenzano and Mark Chadwick, who were both part of Invite Media — the DSP startup acquired by Google back in 2010. Also on the founding team is Jeremy Ozen, who was part of Goldman Sach’s European Special Situations Group in London.
With this background, the team hopes to bring real-time bidding to the digital out-of-home market. Already, it has a large number of screens and impressions that it can sell. It has 80,000 unique locations and 8 billion impressions available as part of its inventory. More important than that, it has a huge amount of data that can help it target certain demographics of viewers. It also can target certain areas, making ads more relevant to local users. Already, a number of brands and agencies have used Vistar to target certain regions and even zip codes with their campaigns.
Now that Vistar has built the platform and worked out the inventory, the company is now looking to get more sales and biz dev folks on board to actually sell the platform to advertisers. That’s where the funding comes in!