FISHERS, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A Fishers-based tech company has closed on its second round of funding in just six months. Vibenomics, which has developed a location-based audio out-of-home advertising platform, has raised $6.5 million in Series A2 funding, which Chief Executive Officer Brent Oakley says is the result of the company’s rapid acceleration. He says the funding will be used to support the launch of new national networks and the addition of up to 25 jobs, as well as additional equipment.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Oakley said the growth has been consistent since the last funding round.
“Even during the pandemic, out-of-home advertising has been the only segment that really has continued to see growth,” said Oakley. “It was predicted that we would see 15%-20% growth across the board this year; that was slowed down by the pandemic, but as other mediums became non-existent and people stopped advertising in certain channels, the digital out-of-home people continued to reach customers where they shop.”
The funding round was led by Georgia-based BIP Capital, which led the previous round. Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures contributed to the round as well.
Vibenomics’ platform combines licensed, background-music playlists and commercial spots paid for by brand advertisers, who can target specific customers based on data provided through the platform.
Oakley says despite the pandemic, grocery retailers and convenience stores are still seeing lots of customers, which creates opportunities for advertisers.
“You know, Kroger’s still seeing 11 million people a day in their stores and advertisers want to make sure they’re able to talk about their product at the place where people are making those purchasing decisions and we’re able to deliver that content in real time. I think that’s really driving the growth.”
Vibenomics, which launched in 2016, announced in July a partnership with Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) to put its platform in the grocery retailer’s 2,300 stores nationwide. Oakley says the company plans to announce more enterprise customers over the next few months.
“We want to really be the leader and kind of have a tipping point with all grocery and once we get a few more banners online that we know are kind of imminent at this point, we’ll own about 80% of all the grocery stores in the country, which means that we will hit 98.9% of all U.S. citizens,” said Oakley. “It puts us in the range of being 13 times bigger than Pandora and who they reach. So all of those are very important goals for us.”
The company, which currently employs 44, says it is projected to reach more than 10,000 convenience and grocery stores by 2021.